The productive, challenging, and exciting juxtaposition of artistic contrasts is an exciting driving force behind the creation of group shows. With that in mind, Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran is pleased to announce Come As You Are, curated by Benjamin Klein. In both range and scope this exhibition offers a visually powerful series of interlocking parts through which each work is rendered simultaneously highly individualized yet complementary to and with one another. The variety of voices and personalities that flow by and between each artist and their work creates an enriching environment through which to analyze the interplay between medium, style, and conceptual strategies within contemporary art.
Come As You Are generates a textured conversation between major stylistic territories of contemporary art through both a display and investigation of its most highly developed practices. Formalist, minimalist, pop, expressionist and conceptual concerns are addressed; colliding and interweaving in studied depth. A gamut of aesthetic tones and dispositions, from warm to cool and from distant to insistent, emanate throughout the interactions between each artist and their work. As such, the show not only presents a wide range of stylistic principles, but furthermore, is replete with technical virtuosity: all of these artists have achieved a self-evident mastery of their materials and methods.
Trudy Benson, Chris Kline, Shawn Kuruneru, and Russell Tyler explore a wide range of current non-objective painting strategies, from the cool economies of Kline and Kuruneru to the maximal push-pulls of Benson and Tyler. Ideas of authorship, autographic mark-making, existential individuality, and submerged psychological depths acquire strong significance in their works. These four excellent examples of the best crop of current young abstract painters point towards a renewal of the modernist project in painting, wherein young artists join into unique dialogues with historical styles to emerge with distinctive voices.
Brian Hunter, Leopold Plotek, and Ambera Wellmann all incorporate a focus on such historicity, approaching previous dialogues through explicitly image-based, figurative territories. Hunter uses a richly expressive touch to represent the notion of “the archive” in its most shadowed depths; while Wellmann’s savvy and skillful paintings deftly manage a working compromise between ironic critique and undeniable pleasures. Plotek, the senior artist in this grouping, has a long-established practice that broadly stretches between history painting and high modernism. For this show, he deploys his trademark formal force with a unique, wry humour.
Annie Descôteaux’s multivalent practice is easiest to understand as “sculpture” even though the term is not necessarily comprehensive with respect to her production. Her installation for Come As You Are creates a centre point of aesthetic design around which the exhibition is able to twist and turn in a variety of visual terms. Likewise, Corina Kennedy’s inviting, thoughtfully strange installation provides both a perfect 3D and conceptual counterpoint, while Emily Shanahan’s video – as well as her beautiful collage works – round out the gathering with carefully considered, precise gestures that are both formally rational and emotionally personal.