Campbell Works – Next Exhibition – Painting Playing the Game of… Painting
You are invited to join us for the opening reception on
Thursday 15th September 2016, 6.00 – 9.00pm
16th September – 2nd October 2016, Thurs – Fri 12.00 – 6.00pm and by appointment
Peter Lamb and Phil Frankland
Curated by Matthew Hearn
Be it through painterly marks photocopied, paint strewn surfaces photographed, fragments of imagery recycled or off cuts repurposed, Frankland and Lamb are unequivocally playing games with, painting. In their assemblages and composite montages there exists a constant tension between the paintings apparent two-dimensionality: between the perceptible depth in the image and the contrived flatness of a singular picture plane. Collage is unquestionably a means to an end within these works – within this ‘expanded field’ – but ultimately it is a process that literally makes the paintings.
For Peter Lamb, his means are foremost digital, his processes frequently mechanical. He has exchanged the symbolic substrate of canvas for the representative surface of “softimage’; emulsion is more often a (photographic) finish, rather than a (painterly) primer. Lamb’s paintings oscillate between two-dimensional renders and more complex assemblages of time and scale, juxtaposition and material, ready-made and hand-crafted marks. He has described his process as a way to keep making paintings: his practice as one of collapse and renewal.Made of both past and present participles Lamb’s paintings exist in the perfect tense: what has been done in and through the process(es) past is surpassed by the paintings present state and what the resultant paintings are doing, becoming. His paintings are therefore contingent but they are also a stepping-stone to making the next paintings.
Equally for Phil Frankland, painting is a conversation inflected upon itself; an internalised dialogue coming out of the studio; from catalogues and sketchpads; re-sampled through the photocopier, and later recycled from the scraps box. His paintings and collages are polymers in which he plunders, recoups and self-samples. In both the raw assemblages or the paintings which push towards a greater sense of resolve (if not finish), Frankland uses the processes of collage to confuse and distort, layer, cluster and blend. In each painting these sedimentary samples become both integral to and yet often camouflaged beneath subsequent strata of paint. As a process that is iterative, the evolution of paintings can be slow and circuitous, scale jumps, composite combinations reformat and re-align, and as elements or fractions there-of slip between different works there is a rhizomatic connectivity unifying the works.
For both Frankland and Lamb they have established a way of working that is generative, enduring and forever becoming. Equivocal to a moebius strip, their processes create entangled webs of self-reference and whilst this results in a traceable vocabulary of marks, motifs and abstracted imagery, the idea of the originating mark is lost, the sequence is disordered and we are unable to trace the process of evolution. Playful in their means, at one and the same time combinations of future histories and resurfacing pasts the work of both artists is also playful with ideas of what painting is and can be: what painting is (now) is what painting does (now) – in the long now.