Carl Fudge, who combines digital technology with traditional art-making techniques, will exhibit unique prints that range from the monumental to the miniature. In his new series, Dazzle, he reconfigures woodcuts by Edward Wadsworth, a member of the short-lived British art movement called the Vorticists (1914-15). The Vorticists promoted a British brand of modernism which stressed geometric abstraction and the hard-edged precision of mechanical forms. In so doing Fudge suggests correspondences between the utopian vision of the Industrial Age and our current infatuation with digital technology.
In his new series, Fudge abstracts Wadsworth's subjects - industrial scenes of North England and Dazzle ships, which were patterned with designs to confuse the enemy in World War I. With a triple turn, he deconstructs Wadsworth's geometric shapes and hypnotic stripes to create a kaleidoscopic field of hard-edged forms that disorientate the viewer. The graphic Platelayers (59" x 58") is a lattice of planes that recede and project into space. The highly-detailed Disruption (80" x 59")and Aground (75" x 118"), which are derived from Wadsworth's dock scenes, include vestiges of Wadsworth's vein of representation - cartoon-like workers, windows, and the glimmer of the outline of a ship. The silkscreen technique highlights the flat intense color relationships further fragmenting the compositional surface.
The compositions merge the look of Modernist Art with details that resemble digital bytes. Fudge plays with the characteristics of print-making, offering several versions of the same image: black and white and two-color variations and a detail from a larger composition, which can stand as a complete work. Referencing the original woodcuts, the prints are on lightweight Japanese paper. Fudge challenges hierarchies and breaks down traditional art disciplines.
Fudge's new work is an elaboration on his previous series based on Warhol's Camouflage paintings. Camouflage and Dazzle painting use patterns to trick the eye. Whereas the purpose of camouflage is to conceal, Dazzle painting is designed to disorient by disrupting what is recognizable. These new prints achieve both. Fudge creates new pictorial vocabularies for a fresh look at what already exists.
Dazzle is Carl Fudge's first exhibition in New York in five years. Recent one-person exhibitions were mounted at Gallery Jean-Luc & Takako Richard in Paris, France and Eugene Binder Gallery in Marfa, Texas. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Brooklyn Museum, NY; the Denver Art Museum, CO; among others. Born in London, England, he works and lives in New York.