JAROMIR NOVOTNY & FINBAR WARD
10/09 > 14/10
The duo-exhibition Mirror, Mirror is not a question of merely curating new work of Jaromir NOVOTNY (°1974) & Finbar WARD (°1990) together in one single show. It is the result of a well-thought collaboration between the artists.
The dialogue between Novotný’s wall- and Ward’s floor piece in the first room is quite clear. The work is created in-situ and when entering the gallery space it is almost as if one could hear the sound of the ‘splash’ echoing around the room. The action of literally dropping the material onto the floor completed both works simultaniously, adding brutal splashes of plaster to the ephemeral white painting. The orientation of horizontal and vertical lines of black thread and ribbon meticulously sewn into the organza, the equal dimensions of the large works and the direct merging of black and white between the wall- and floorpiece only intensifies the dialogue between the work of both artists.
The blue painting (office) – a joint piece whereby work of Ward literally penetrates the painting of Novotný – was a first concrete result and functioned as a starting point of their collaboration.
In each of the rooms the works will continue to relate to one another, complete each other or merge together.
Peculiar to Novotný’s paintings are the subtle details, structures and traces that reveal the artistic presence and process. Tension is created between the canvas as a whole and the need for a more detailed look. By meticulously sewing black thread and ribbon into the organza, Novotný creates the textured illusion of a drawing whereas the different painterly fields and the presence of elements behind the canvas create depth in each work. The idea of the insert also manifests itself by incorporating and sewing old work into the organza or the placement of glass at the back. More than creating merely formal work, his paintings contain some type of physicality and force the eye to shift from the overall work to the relation with its various fields.
Throughout his oeuvre Ward explored the potential of painting and the validity of the medium. In this show, sculptural media (plaster, plastic) is integrated with primary painting materials (wood, raw pigments, paint) and the debris of the artist’s studio. In the past, the artist used a very intuitive process of transformation and reassembly where failure and retrieval determined the work and the point of completion was unforseen. In his show last year, In Waiting (2016), he compressed ‘the essence’ of each work between two large plinths at eye level. Here, ‘the essence’ is to be found upturned and leaking out from underneath its support. The smaller works of the show relate to the floor pieces and can be seen as an investigation into their build-up materials while being punctuations of color in the white gallery space.