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New for Old

al e x ander massouras julian page fine art

Alexander M assouras

New For Old

15–21 July 2013

Julian Page Fine Art

24 Pembridge Villas, London W11 3EL

Photography in Paint

Flare paintings (2012–13) series of 10, oil on linen 46 x 33 cm / 80 x 60 cm

These paintings of the sun’s flare on a camera lens are distorted exercises in photorealism; they overstate the agency of the camera with constructed octagonal flare, which introduces mechanical, straight edges to natural imagery of sun falling on treetops. Like blur, flare is a distinctly photographic subject. Its rendering in painterly marks lends the canvases ambiguity: the surfaces can be read either as painting or photography, but not both at once.

julian page fine art

Sculpture in Paint

left: To our darling ma / μητέρα (2012) right: To our most cherished ma / μητέρα (2013) oil on linen, 18 x 25 cm

The paintings of sculptures likewise involve engagement with photography. They originated with postcards from the 1970s and 1980s with colour distortions which have faded with time. These works replicate them in paint, taking the postcards’ greetings as titles. The distortion of medium is twofold: first as sculpture becomes two-dimensional postcard, then as postcard becomes painting. The work is loaded with the susceptibility of objects to their rendering as flat images: even canonic sculptures become familiar through corrupted two-dimensional forms.

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exc avations

New Excavations at Herculaneum (2012) graphite, glue and eraser, 42 x 31 cm

Archaeological excavations lay a grid across the ground to map the site, subjecting the landscape to a kind of abstraction. These drawings formally re-enact this process, erasing and capturing geometric segments in a gesture that mimics the archaeological dig itself. The relationship between surface and depth in the drawings’ abstract shapes and representational drawing echo too the promise of something beneath the dig.

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rendering sculpture

left: Just What is it That Makes Classicism so Different, so Appealing? (2012) graphite on grid paper, 12 x 18 cm right: Geometric Solids, (2013), oil on cut panel, 10 x 17 cm

A series of drawings of classical sculptures with abstract shapes make formal connections between Classicism and Modernism. Hybrid painting-sculptures of geometric solids depicted on cut shapes of timber were inspired by pedagogic solids in a museum of scientific instruments. As these objects were originally used to teach geometry, the dimensional aspect of the shapes also comes full circle: Three-dimensional volumes designed to help comprehend rendering in mathematical, conceptual space are themselves flattened into abstraction. The paintings’ two types of shadows—painted and real—signal their hybrid status as object and image.

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left: Diver (One and a Half Somersaults with Tuck) (2013) oil on linen, 72 x 90 cm right: Diver (Landing) (2011) oil on linen, 110 x 140 cm

Divers is a series of paintings and drawings of springboard divers in freefall. Through the ambivalence of falling, the series is open to both optimism and pessimism. Divers are rich in formal resonances, from images of crucifixion to Barnett Newman’s zips; their simultaneous use of representation and abstraction denies the figure context or void, furthering their ambiguity.

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installation views

above left: Eighteen Pages, at Skylight Projects (2011) left: Eighteen Pages (detail): Page Six / Colour and Aperture, graphite on found paper, 17 x 22 cm above right: Fourty-nine Nudes, at Lyndhurst Way (2008), oil on card, 15 x 15 cm

julian page fine art

Alexander Massouras New for Old Catalogue, Julian Page Fine Art  
Alexander Massouras New for Old Catalogue, Julian Page Fine Art