Pigment and earth appropriate the surface, they expand on it, achieving the desire of stillness and movement: the fluctuating and suggestive world of crystallized moment meets the heaviness of the sand, the luminosity of the pigments, becoming rough and cracked, arid like a desert, yet radiating its energy far afield. Jason Martin meets Maddalena Ambrosio: the distinctive styles and techniques of these two artists are united in a visual call and response in which similar surfaces covers analogous inner struggles.
London painter born in 1970, Jason Martin produces monochrome paintings on an aluminium background upon which the stroke becomes the subject of the piece. The background remains saturated - sometimes visible, sometimes invisible – through the grooves: once dry, it becomes a more concrete, raw, granular and mute surface, void of reflection.
Maddalena Ambrosio, Naples 1970, removing form the natural environment elements like soil and foliage, covers ready-made objects - as hanger, umbrella etc.- Some of these relics are deformed and twisted, brought in a different status of being, deconstructed and given back to a primitive, rude and natural world. The matter is stretched, made volcanic; it is immersed in a geological and crystal world, a mysteriously captivating mineral universe.
The inherent characteristics of both mediums -polyurethane foam and soil- are distinct and different but they both recall elements found in our natural world. The matter is opaque with crystals, roughly spread, like the rugged, sanded surface of the natural horizon, like rocks of magma, a sort of mud and clay of the real. These raw, worked surfaces find their equal and opposite in artists’ recent sculptures: the association is not merely a technical choice, but it’s a linguistic invention dictated by expressive necessity and motivation. A new material, created form the need to delve into nature, not only as an evocation of a perceptive phenomenon.
The inner life of these works further evidences the relationship to the earthy and the archaeological. In Martin’s works we can recover and read signs, gestures, traces of emotions, restlessness and excerpts of life. In Maddalena’s sculptures we recognize everyday objects as if they had been dug out after hundreds of years, as marks of of the physical presence of men, able to record even the most undetectable part of the human behaviour. In both case we are in presence of a struggle with the subject of the artwork: Martin’s mountainous sweeps and soft protuberances of modeller’s paste, which he manipulates as an extension of his own body and Ambrosio’s exuberant deformations of bended metals or exhumed artifacts.
The works exposed are at once examples of an imprecise and instinctive painterly gesture and a decisive sculptural dynamic presence, introducing dialectical oppositions between revealed and hidden, perfect and spoiled, handmade and fabricated, moving and stilled, present and past, light suffocated and reflected.