Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to announce the opening of Surface Tension, an exhibition of new works from six contemporary artists. The exhibition, which includes work in an array of media from artists both represented in the gallery's stable and guest artists, explores the notions of surface through a reduced abstract vocabulary.
In the absence of imagery or narrative, a painting is left quite literally to its own devices to construe emotion or ideas. The principles of line, color, gesture and surface serve as both the foundational underpinnings and explicators of the painting's concept, allowing one to uncover layers of meaning as each principle is considered. This exhibition explores a diverse range of approaches to surface, its interaction with color, form and gesture, and its ability to conceal or reveal its own making and materials in the process.
This notion takes root in the pristinely glossy work of Bill Thompson, where the sleek surface—which looks as though it could have been made on the line of an aerospace factory—conceals the great effort and output of human energy that took to create it; and in the panels of Winston Roeth, where color is laid down in a way so as to create a visual surface above that of the actual substrate. Cathy Choi’s work carries with it a sense of the classicism of the canvas, but with a decidedly contemporary bent, as she manipulates resins to form waves and rises, lending heft to an otherwise airy composition. The same notion of surface on a plane is reflected in the beguiling work of Tad Mike, whose surfaces of Swiss varnish and walnut ink create a subtle topography on the canvas. By coating antique books and ledger papers in encaustic, Nan Swid creates a surface that literally conceals and enshrouds a narrative, a notion reflected in the cast acrylic bars of Freddy Chandra, which seem to have encapsulated a hint of a cinemagraphic moment or sense of time just below the cool, smooth surfaces of his works.