Thursday, January 22, 2009

Paul Moss: "SUPERABUNDANT" Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK

Superabundant: A Celebration of Pattern

Jacob Dahlgren, Wim Delvoye, Jim Drain, Lesley Halliwell, Paul Moss, Henna Nadeem, Jacqueline Poncelet, Daniel Sturgis, Richard Woods

Turner Contemporary Project Space
Droit House
Saturday 24 January - Sunday 22 March 2009

Superabundant is an exhibition that creates a sense of celebration, of joy and delight through the power of pattern. The exhibition features work by nine artists who make use of pattern and decoration in very different ways, some adopting a systems approach to pattern whilst others are more fluid and organic. For this exhibition, many of the artists have created new and sometimes site specific work especially for the Turner Contemporary Project Space.

The use of decorative designs and patterns has always been central to the fine and applied arts from Roman mosaics and the intricate motifs of Islamic art to the innovative wallpaper and textiles of AWN Pugin and William Morris. In the twentieth century, excessive ornamentation was dismissed as decadent by the Modernist architects and designers of the Bauhaus: decoration for its own sake was replaced by abstraction and truth to materials.

In this exhibition, the tension between decoration and abstraction is explored in Lesley Halliwell's intricate, large-scale Spirograph drawings and Daniel Sturgis' series of paintings with their vocabulary of colour, repetition and pattern.

A number of works play directly with the external and internal surfaces of the Turner Contemporary Project Space, a former department store on Margate High Street: Richard Woods has created a new decorative facade for the building while Jacqui Poncelet installs a forest of pillars covered with a dizzying 'push-me-pull-you' motif. Architectural simulation of a different kind features in Wim Delvoye's photograph of a marble floor created entirely out of salami.

Jacob Dahlgren is fascinated by the surface of things and our everyday encounters with pattern and abstraction, from striped t-shirts photographed on the street to the curves that a stack of coloured plastic cups makes. Heaven is a place on earth is an installation made up of red, white and blue bathroom scales arranged on the floor like an interactive, modernist grid.

Pattern is often associated with feelings of pleasure. Paul Moss' Danger Paintings however, with their disorientating zig-zags of red and white hazard tape, signal an unspecified warning and function as both paintings and architectural screens. These paintings, like many of the works in the exhibition, are complex and labour intensive. Jim Drain's over the top, colourful sculptures made of wool, cloth and other found materials, combine a handmade aesthetic and an interest in non-Western traditions of art making with references to 60's Op art and psychedelia.

Join us this Saturday from 12 noon to mark the opening of the exhibition Superabundant: A Celebration of Pattern at Turner Contemporary Project Space in Margate. Louise Taylor, freelance curator and writer and former director at the Crafts Council will open the exhibition in the Project Space at 12.30pm.

Paul Moss
Danger Paintings 1-6
2003 - 2006
Non-Adhesive Barrier Tape on Timber Frame
Installation View, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK
190 x 246 cm (each)
photo: Colin Davison
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK