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'Visible Invisible: Against the Security of the Real'25 November 2009 - 7 February 2010

'Visible Invisible'

'Visible Invisible: Against the Security of the Real' Installation view, Parasol unit 2009 Photography by Stephen White


Cecily Brown, Hans Josephsohn, Shaun McDowell, Katy Moran and Maaike Schoorel.

'... in the presence of a painting, it is not a question of my making ever more references to the subject ... Rather ... it is a matter of contemplating, of perceiving the painting by way of the silent signals which come at me ... from its every part, which emanate from the traces of paint set down on the canvas ... to form a tightly structured arrangement in which one has the distinct feeling that nothing is arbitrary ...'
Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Throughout the history of art, artists have always been concerned to varying degrees with how to depict perceptible reality and equally, more latterly, their own imperceptible feelings. This has certainly become paramount since the invention of photography and the beginning of the twentieth century – from Paul Cèzanne to Francis Bacon and Willem de Kooning – into the twenty-first century for the artists shown in this exhibition: Cecily Brown, Hans Josephsohn, Shaun McDowell, Katy Moran and Maaike Schoorel. In going beyond straightforward figuration these artists have either chosen to move into abstraction or opted for using figuration in imaginative ways that, paradoxically, serve to elevate its status.

The works in this exhibition do not represent perceived reality per se, rather they hover somewhere between figuration and abstraction. They are therefore rich in suggestive possibilities and ultimately provide some insight into the feelings and emotions these artists experienced while creating their works. Understandably, the inspiration for and resulting works of each artist are distinctly different, but seen together their works share an indisputable material presence and an intriguing dynamism that prompts an active exchange between viewer and art work. Some of the artists, such as Brown, Moran and Schoorel, depart from existing imagery, while Josephsohn, the only sculptor in this exhibition, and McDowell work directly from the perceptible world and nature.

This exhibition was curated by Ziba Ardalan and accompanied by a publication.

It was kindly supported by the Mondriaan Foundation and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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