KEVIN COOLEY | GILLIAN LAWLER | RUSSELL LENG | PETER MATTHEWS | JORDAN TULL
Systems Beyond Certainty reconsiders time, nature, and space as ideological concepts that exist as simultaneously real and imagined structures within the natural world. Five artists consider these concepts as metaphor and reality, presenting a contemplative re-evaulation of their surroundings through the aesthetic. Together, the works create a polemical context for reflection and for a consideration of the relationship between structures in the natural world that exist as both definite and imagined.
The exhibition is conceived through several distinct themes: the natural world, the utopian versus the dystopian, the spatial, the psychological, and the futuristic sublime. The work considers abstract representations of the present and future in both the constructed and natural world. These themes lend themselves to further discussion: the status of normalcy versus the pursuit of the ideal, the constructed vs natural world in crisis, imagined representations of the future, or the reduction of the ‘landscape’ to simulacra. Each presents a these concepts in flux: as reduced and reconstructed indefinite structures.
Gillian Lawler's intimate paintings hint at dystopian landscapes with psychologically heightened perspectives that suggest the artist’s own unreliable recollection of futuristic, free-floating, anthropomorphic habitats. Entitled Two, Three, and Four Hours in the Atlantic Ocean (England), Peter Matthews' drawings - made while situated in the Ocean for the indicated amounts of time – are temporal recordings of the power of nature. Russell Leng's abstracted landscapes, entitled Mountain, reduce wintry mountain-scapes into deconstructed (and re-assembled) palimpsest-like paintings. Kevin Cooley's stark photographs suggest the remnants of a deserted past or post-apocalyptic future; in Path, nature is an overwhelming and sublime subject itself. Jordan Tull's angular, metallic sculptures are informed by the imagined, logistical, and intuitive parameters of reality, like minimalist monuments to a future world.
Each of the artist takes an engaged perspective of nature and society through a stance that seems polemically charged yet dispassionately psychological; for each the 'wonders of nature' are reduced and reconstructed as a series of indefinite structures: systems in-flux, uncertain and reduced to conceptual visions of space, time, and existence.