Exhibition preview, Friday 4th February, 7pm
Exhibition continues until Saturday 19th March
Gallery open Weds – Sat 11am – 6pm
All works play with what it means to produce something, some kind of meaning, from nothing – the idea of producing a contrivance which celebrates the making of that contrivance and the subsequent pleasure that brings – how pleasure works, the meaning of pleasure and the pleasure of meaning.
Using an economy of means, pieces aim for a directness and apparent simplicity to achieve an emotional resonance. Deliberately adopting unprepossessing elements, pieces originate using simple geometric configurations or forms dictated by proportional divisions. Mainly using oil paint on display board, pieces are constructed in a workmanlike manner, with a conscious avoidance of nuanced, expressive brushwork or any potential dramatic tension arising from a theatrical juxtaposing of dissimilar elements within the same piece. This non-hierarchical conception inevitably resulting in pieces featuring symmetry or repetition.
The process of making, itself plays an essential role in how a piece evolves, whereby the traces of direct human involvement are always apparent in what might otherwise appear as a clinically conceived endeavour. The works shuttle between the bespoke and the ubiquitous, playing with the idea of being a thing, whilst implicitly celebrating its own artificiality. This highlighting of a piece’s mechanics, rather than being an add on rustic feature, being an essential element in its final meaning.
Whilst acknowledging their relation to the narrative of what constitutes a painting and its histories, the works also seek to ally themselves with the associative and emotional attachments we make with everyday objects in the world.
The obsession with how abstract elements achieve any sense of emotional resonance or meaning, has resulted in pieces featuring formats designed to produce a clear, solvable “result” or “answer”, such as puzzles, yet perversely presenting them solely as formal patterns, voiding their inherent purpose, to highlight the vagaries of what constitutes the idea of formal meaning.
The works aspire to a sense of intimacy and stillness where the ease with which the overall image is instantly “read”, allows a space where the painting can unwrap itself and the contribution of its constituent parts can be reflected upon – where clarity alternates with ambiguity, evidence with mystery, reassurance with revelation, continuity with disruption, repetition with variation, surface with edges, control with lack of control, prescription with looseness.
Whereas previous works have been on a modest scale, some of the current piece’s work with the idea of being physically larger yet still retaining the same intimacy as smaller works. To this end the larger pieces, rather than being “scaled up” versions of smaller works, explore the idea of combining a large number of repetitive, small elements without the piece being read as overly complicated whilst avoiding any sense of bombast or swagger. January 2022
Graham Jones is a London born; Cardiff based artist who was the recipient of the Gallery Ten/Andre Stitt Award at the 2020 Beep Painting Prize.