Arena 1 Gallery is pleased to present “Illiterature”, a group exhibition curated by Mark Carter, which will present works in various media that utilize text and text-like imagery for visual, graphic, illustrative and contemplative ends rather than a literal dialog.
Humans develop the propensity to recognize and read text in childhood. Our malleable brain, when introduced to the composition of written language, imprints the concept that symbols scribed in lines ought to be read. Language is one of our inventions and essential in a socially organized species enabling communication to be preserved and to evolve trans-tribally. Calligraphic imagery became the basis for encoding references.
These artists enjoy exploiting our brain’s intent to make this association. Linear meanderings incite tension as we strain to make sense of what we see. Doodles are read as possible hieroglyphic icons. And true text, visually comforting because of its familiarity, has become classic compositional tools of illusion as well as illustration. Perhaps the range of subject types from the absolute of the landscape and portrait through abstraction and minimalism needs to expand and include nouns and verbs. While it’s clear that these artists exhibit a love of language, they prefer to keep it at arms length.