The rise of technology has necessitated a return to ritual. Computers and word processors operate only in the world of numbers and rationality. The human experience is basically irrational. Keith Haring, 1984.
Somewhere at the end of the world on the far edge of the rocky coast: a post-industrial wasteland, the coal dust has dissipated from fields which are finally green with grass. Brent Wadden is part of a group of young artists that have gone against the grain of their own generation and have decided to take their time to make things themselves, in effect rejecting contemporary society's general state of impatience. While Wadden's work can be seen as a rejection of Western notions of the immediate, the cheap and of satisfaction, it's also concerned with the expansion of new forms of painting. In About Time, Wadden delves deeper into his reflections on how to straddle the boundaries between craft, fine arts as well as interior design. Interested in creating a direct dialogue between weaving and various modes of modernist art making, Wadden’s work references both the historical and social constructs of craft and modernism. Consistent throughout his work though is a commitment to the grid. This rigid geometric system is continually broken throughout his working process to allow natural flaws, new patterns to emerge, and invite interaction between the weavings, paintings and viewers.
At the core of the exhibition is a group of new paintings from the artist’s Alignment series. Working within the vein of assemblage, Wadden makes paintings by piecing together his hand woven weavings to create large scale, hard-edge geometric abstractions. The weavings are constructed from various natural and synthetic materials, mostly refuse from projects gone sour and/or long forgotten, sourced from various locations (thrift shops, eBay and craigslist and a few strands from family members). Once completed, Wadden takes a handful or so of the individual weavings and sews them together to create basic compositions. During the stretching process Wadden’s paintings start to take shape. They warp and weft in awkward ways which create imperfections in the all ready irregular patterns. In contrast to traditional painting, the composition is decided during the final stages of preparation and the use of light and dark create a positive / negative space which shifts between foreground to background. It's like a ying-yang in a way, or maybe more like a fucked up pacifist anarchist flag on a random sized, repeat pattern.
Berlin - Germany