Cadogan Contemporary is delighted to present Now/here, a solo exhibition featuring new work by the acclaimed British artist Sam Lock.
A key inspiration for Lock is the written word, in particular the work of the dramatists Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter. As the latter famously said, ‘Underneath what is said, something else is being said,’ and the ideas invoked in that observation – notions of double meanings, loss, discovery and the overlapping of past and present – are key to understanding Lock’s entire oeuvre; in essence, each work is a mediation on the ambiguities of life revealed through abstraction.
Sam Lock, Time and Tide, 2018
Comprised of fifteen medium and large-scale paintings, as well as sculptures and a suite of works on paper, this is the artist’s largest presentation to date and his third with the gallery. The paintings are rendered in Lock’s trademark style. A canvas is prepared with gesso onto which layers of acrylic and household paint are applied and then manipulated – sanded, stained, scorched, sealed and torn – and also treated to the effects of a heat gun. The artist sees each canvas as a battleground, with the materials at war with one another. These collisions are orchestrated to some extent, but there is also a pervading element of chance and unpredictability, with paint colours changing due to unplanned physical and chemical interactions.
The sculptural works, which Lock describes as ‘containers of energy,’ are created from sheets of copper and, as with the paintings, are treated as ‘battlegrounds’, being sprayed with nitrate to achieve extraordinary reactions, as well as exposed to blow-torches and a club hammer. Intrinsic to these works will be the plinths on which they are mounted, which will have mirrored surfaces, lending them a further optic dimension and the implication of what the artist calls ‘the presence of absence’.
Sam Lock, Act 1, 2, 3, 2019