‘The Realm of Objects and Ideas’ is a curated online only exhibition dedicated to works on paper.
The drawing often seems to fulfill an indexical function, incarnating, as it were, the artist’s thought process. Indeed, it has come to occupy, in the words of art critic Dave Hickey, “an equivocal position between the realms of objects and ideas”. It is this ambiguity that makes works on paper such a fascinating field of enquiry and inspires us to take a closer look.
Last week, we focused on three contemporary artists who treat paper as a site of resistance and as a means to revealing the points of rupture of contemporary society: Adel Abdessemed, Robert Longo, Paul Noble.
This week, we’re pleased to present a selection of new ‘scan transfers’ by Paul Kneale and historical work by Ed Ruscha.
Ed Ruscha is, undeniably, one of the great Post-War masters, who created his own visual vocabulary that straddles and challenges the conventions of Pop Art, Minimalism, and Conceptualism. We are here presenting a print from his well known series ‘Mountain Prints’, where word, landscape and idea come together to constitute an artwork that simultaneously functions as an object and a metaphor.
Ruscha’s fascination with print goes back to 1958, when he started his first apprenticeship in this field in Los Angeles. His interest for this medium stems from, and investigates, the possibilities of collaboration (between artist and craftsman) and reproducibility.
On the other hand, Paul Kneale’s Scan Transfers, although technically ‘printed’ are unique and unrepeatable works - born out of the chemistry of what the artist describes as “productive misuse” of consumer products: scanners, acetone, and photo paper. Indeed, Kneale’s Scan Transfers series is closely related to his larger scale scanner paintings and is created following a similar process. Although the aesthetics of these two bodies of work are similar, the different scale of this artwork alters the viewer’s bodily encounter with it. Rendered in the popular A4 format, the work is more tightly connected to the means of its creation – namely, the scanner – while also inciting associations with familiar objects, such as published magazines, notepads, and other printed media.
Throughout his oeuvre, Kneale investigates the digital as a system of vision and reflects on the implications this has on our hyper-connected contemporary lifestyle - from social media, to architecture, to marketing, to basic human interactions.