memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Sunday 20 June 2010

Charles Mason at Nettie Horn

Nettie Horn is one of my favorite galleries. And that is not only because they have Marko Maetamm in their books.

Now they have a solo show by Charles Mason, called Structure and other anxieties.

Inhabited by feelings of recognition, Charles Mason’s work is tinted by physical and psychological implications resulting from a reflexion on the surface and the structure. Following from his earlier sculptural practice, his work recalls a certain feeling of loss; a familiarity both generated and revealed by an affinity towards the ready-made. Initially using fragmented and partially broken and repaired objects, Mason has continued to introduce in his sculptural practice the use of construction materials such as foam, tiles, concrete and other scaffolding elements. Embodying both a formal and architectural spirit, these new components reconsider as well as reinforce the intrinsec playful expression of the artist’s work. Notions of equilibrium, weight and matter are essentiel components in Mason’s minimalist works; and where even the two-dimensional works take on a sculptural approach in the way that the objects represented are purely outlined within a space.

The use of translucent and dark grey Perspex panels notably offer a unique experience where a sense of disorientation paradoxically contributes to the idea of recognition and where a type of daydream-like experimentation questions the notion of physicality; the viewer becomes part of the work as he travels around it and becomes reflected in the Perspex through which a deformed perception of reality is offered. This sweet paradox is perpetuated through a reassuring feeling and an unnerving grace generated by the supportive and even prosthetic combination of shapes which seem to carry organic and visceral tones within their industrial nature.

In his research of a new formal vocabulary, Charles Mason’s work evolves naturally through the practices of drawing and photography and in which the economy of means as well as a subtle irony assume here their full meaning. Taking the shape of a repeatedly drawn oblong form in perspective, “Wall drawing (camera della morte) 2010” generates an optically shallow space through its positioning and orientation as a wall frieze. Reinforced by a palindromic phenomenon, the artificiality and disorientation formely present in Mason’s use of Perspex screens – where the light is reflected and absorbed into an enclosed chamber - is also echoed here in the drawing.

That black perspex really works. With the light that there is, it produces amazing illusion of there/not-there see-through/reflection. Very interactive.