Emma Jameson – 4 December, 2014
“Plexus” demonstrates the power of collaboration between two artists and their exhibition space. Stankovich and Prisk's works evidence a thorough understanding and awareness of each other's theoretical projects and how they are translated into aesthetic creations, experientially evolving with each work investing the next with complex spatial relationships and textural richness.
Kelsey Stankovich & Joe Prisk
24 October - 24 November 2014
Physical relationships are once again enigmatically explored in Loft’s show Plexus. This exhibition testifies to Loft’s apt curating of artists and artworks that react to their specific environment to produce enlightening suggestions of physicality, tone, and materiality.
Joe Prisk’s paintings work in a reciprocal relationship with Kelsey Stankovich’s sculptured objects to highlight and create optical and tactile possibilities. Seen individually in isolation the artists’ works would certainly be beautiful and clever, with Prisks’s minimalist geometric paintings providing a meditative painted solar system into which the viewer’s imagination can be immersed. Similarly, Stankovich’s clay sculptural objects are delightfully satisfying in their unbridled appeal to a playful and tactile response from the viewer (particularly in Decuple Fragment Holder, which instinctively made me want to pick out the oval white pieces of clay from their blue holder).
Together, however, the pieces work together and within their surroundings to create links of aesthetic and textural commonalities, prompting greater viewer appreciation of various materials and their visual effects. Displayed upon the (newly all white) thickly plastered walls of Loft’s cosy space, the works seem to take this textured surface as a point of inspiration. Tones, objects, and painted sections advance and recede intermittently. They are an exploration into spatial significance, physical familiarity and how these can be questioned, suggested, and challenged through various visual effects.
In Prisk’s img_96903 thick crumbles of paint or dirt protrude from the flat expanse of the canvas. Their advancement into our space is counter-balanced by patches of grey harbouring small blue ovals, which seem to lead our eye into a concealed inner-depth beyond the painted white surface. This can similarly be seen in img_96905, in which vibrant orange and red ovals seem to simultaneously hover above and underneath the painted blue surface.
Stankovich’s Molar Stabilisers provide a sculptural simile for this interaction. Clumps of blue clay lie within pale pink rings. Scattered across an aqua marine grid laid over a black surface, the objects explore recession and protrusion and in the process complicate the notion of a knowable, inhabitable, concrete space of fixed parameters.
Her works Gripholds and Decuple Fragment Holder invest Prisk’s paintings with sculptural connotations. In img_96902 the paler ovals seem to cut into, yet simultaneously protrude from the magenta canvas, vibrantly pulsating in the viewer’s eye. The overlapping tones of the ovals in img_96906 act as a painted parallel to Stankovich’s Orbit Devices, in which small pink clay balls have been inserted into pink and blue clay ovals. The sagging pink mass onto which they are placed seems to rise up and over these objects, threatening to fold and consume them in an organic process of material evolution.
Plexus demonstrates the power of collaboration between two artists and their exhibition space. Stankovich and Prisk’s works evidence a thorough understanding and awareness of each other’s theoretical projects and how they are translated into aesthetic creations. Plexus was, for me, a gradually evolving experience, with each work investing the next with complex spatial relationships and textural richness. The sculpted objects and painted canvases speak to each other in a dynamic conversation of tone, form, space, and texture - a strikingly effective dialogue between two artists and the features of a specific gallery space.
Emma Jameson was recently the 2014 EyeContact Artists Alliance Writing Intern, a programme made possible with generous funding from the ASB Community Trust.
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