until 01.12. | #2267ARTatBerlin | Esther Schipper presents since 26th October 2018 the exhibition The Light Pours Out by the artist Martin Boyce.
Esther Schipper is pleased to announce The Light Pours Out, the first solo exhibition of Martin Boyce with the gallery.
Martin Boyce has subtly transformed the gallery space by creating a system of ledges that cover the walls, transforming their surfaces into sculptural settings and formal frames for his sculptures. With the presentation of new works from his series of painted perforated steel panels with attached metal elements, large screens and works from his series of Jesmonite plates, the artist continues his hybridization of different traditions of art, architecture, design and urbanism – both western and eastern , modernist and historical.
Based on lines from the Cubist Concrete Trees of 1925 by the brothers Jan and Joël Martel, who have acted as “lexicon of forms” for the artist since 2005, the strips refer both to the history of architectural ornamentation and to the fondness of the 18th and 19th centuries Century for ornaments. In this context, they refer in particular to the history of exhibitions – the pattern of the rectangles gives space a new rhythm, literally frames (traditionally used for paintings) and at the same time represents their meaning as a symbolic marking.
In a further allusion to the artist’s ongoing engagement with painting through other means – with interweaving of sculpture and painting, three-dimensional object and image planes, solidity and transparency – are a series of works of colored perforated steel panels with elements of chains and small lanterns installed in the sections formed by the strips. (As the panels intersect the frames, their formal and conceptual function becomes even more apparent.) The monochrome panels, which consist partly of one, two, or three parts, have been painted and dyed with remarkable luminosity. The application of paint looks almost fluid, reminiscent of ink or watercolor and colors the perforated surface with a fine cascade pattern.
In the context of Boyce’s interest in Chinese art, the works are reminiscent of the characteristic compositions of Chinese painting of mountain landscapes. The lanterns and chains reinforce such an association: as a recurrent motif in Boyce’s work, the metal lanterns refer both to the characteristic shape of Chinese lamps and lanterns and to those based on his preoccupation with the trees of the Martel brothers. The charged balance between simplicity and iconographic motif of the sculptural components of each work also recalls a stylistic device of traditional Chinese and Japanese painting practice.
At the same time, these sculptural elements of the panels combine industrial and organic associations: the discolored metal chains are evidence of a process of wear or decay (which they would be exposed to outdoors). The forms, on the other hand, take on a naturalistic character, as so often in Boyce’s work, because their flowing lines are reminiscent of those found in nature (such as vines, delicate branches, or the dull lines of willow trees).
Two sculptures – one that connects a floor lamp with a painted door floating slightly above the ground, and another, a lamp hanging from a large metal frame reminiscent of the head and foot of a bed – make these connections organic , anthropomorphic and machine associations.
Two large freestanding works function as partitions as well as frames – a form that Boyce has used to create hybrid architectural landscapes to highlight the multi-sidedness of the screens as boundaries, openings and marking of transitional spaces. Its translucency – the surface consists of semi-transparent glass fiber reinforced plastic mounted over a rectangular metal frame – underlines its function as conceptual thresholds.
Large gates or screens that structure Boyce’s urban landscapes and create courses or individual spaces combine architectural and urban references. While fences, gates, windows – partly made of inverted benches, metal bars or chains, reminiscent of temporary houses or barrack towns – were a recurrent theme, these new works articulate the constant influence of traditional Japanese architecture and especially their sliding doors acting as room dividers. At the same time, the translucency evokes the effect of curtains that paradoxically impose the large glass windows of modernist buildings, blurring what was designed as an architecture of transparency.
Martin Boyce has reworked and reformulated iconic design objects and developed his own imagery based on a reading of the formal and conceptual stories of art, design, architecture, and urban planning. Boyce’s exhibitions often take the form of enchanted landscapes inhabited by slightly laconic witnesses of past urban development programs, but also filling the formal vocabulary of contemporary urbanism with moments of unexpected tenderness and beauty.
Martin Boyce was born in 1967 in Hamilton, Scotland. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art and at the California Institute for the Arts. Boyce currently holds a professorship at the HfBK in Hamburg. He lives and works in Glasgow. The artist received the 2011 Turner Prize.
Opening: Friday, 26th October 2018, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition period: Friday, 26th October – Saturday, 1st December 2018Zu Esther Schipper
Image caption: painted panel detail, photo © Martin Boyce / Courtesy the artist; Esther Schipper, Berlin
Exhibition Martin Boyce – Esther Schipper | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin