Between texts and textiles


This summer, 123 Watts presents a pause on canvas: an exhibition with no screens - paintings that break the link between vehicle and destination. Texts to weave with no point. Textiles to read with no intention of being informed. A short step from text to textile, synthetic to natural, pattern to language.


John Andrews: synthetic and natural

"I attempt to explore the dissolution of boundaries between the synthetic and the natural. Mechanical systems are layered repeatedly in a search for patterns and rhythms which express this interplay." (John Andrews). John Andrews builds his paintings by applying beeswax on honeycombed aluminum panels. Geometric patterns reminiscent of clothing fabrics are created with a pounce wheel pulled across the surface to form a dense grid of holes, that he then fills with a paste wax-pigment mixture. The result is seamless, flat surfaces, rational systems of discrete units freed from instrumental utility or significance.


Elena del Rivero: the textile sign

The main body of her work consists in Letters to the Mother - works on canvas, fabric or paper - in which techniques and materials usually associated with art coexist with those from the traditional and feminine world of needlework and textiles. "What is produced is a gradual and interesting approach to painting, weaving and writing by visual fusion of what we might call the textile sign. The tiniest element of needlework (the loop of stitch) and the pictorial sign is reduced to a minimum … Sometimes we need to get really close to discover whether it is painting, sewing or writing." (Assumpta Bassas). In July, Elena del Rivero will also present a project untitled [Sweet] Home at the Drawing Center & Dieu Donné Papermill in New York.


Betsy Kaufman: woven narratives

"I work with minimal and formal imagery, along with an extensive use of color, all deliberately chosen to depict a narrative that initially appears to be structured but is ultimately subverted and disturbed" (Betsy Kaufman). "Betsy Kaufman is an avid reader, who sees her work in terms of narrative (…) colorful tales (…). The elements in Kaufman’s paintings carry similar threads -- plots, subplots, narratives and counter narratives – that run through the whole fabric of her compositions. The metaphor of weaving conjures Agnes Martin, whom Kaufman reveres, and whose systemic, minimalist paintings come out of an involvement with textiles. (Ingrid Schafner)


Teo Gonzalez: observing drops on grids

His main interest is to quantify and control the chemical reaction of enamel paint on acrylic surfaces and the visual effect of the dissolution of a glossy medium on a flat support. First, he outlines a faint pencil grid on a square, matte and monochromatic background. Then he fills the grid with individual drops of enamel paint. The population of drops appears as a sampling of blips of information in DNA lab tests. Each paint drop dries differently, making the grid flash with unplanned optical pulses.


Mark Ferguson: propelling organisms

Small colored dots populate the lower border of open atmospheric spaces. They form a colony of propelling organisms with a tactile appeal. From close, the dots are precisely defined, the thickness of the paint asserts their individuality. Sometimes discreet lines or seams also appear on the grey backgrounds, imprints left from the edges of newspaper pages that had been applied to the surface of the paint before it was completely dry. The dots collect at the bottom of the paintings like the screen of a frozen video game, color coded information that went dysfunctional.