The intimate consciousness of time brings together six artists whose work is characterized by temporality and who use the notion of time either as an integral part of their creative process or as a perception mechanism.
In the gallery window, Athina Ioannou’s Large Hanging Paintings link those two paths in a subtle and complex way. In her minimal compositions, the artist soaks colored fabric in linseed oil, without adding any pigment, and the oil slowly penetrates and saturates the textiles. She thus initiates a progressive transfiguration of her chosen materials, which affects their texture, opacity, colors and smell. The notion of duration is present at the inception of her process, when the main transformation occurs, but the chemical dialogue between fabric and linseed oil will also continue through the years, slowly and almost imperceptibly.
Bernard Villers’ series Iris descend uses the properties of “Interference colors”, which react to the direction and strength of light waves, to create an always-changing iridescent effect. Combining gesso, a base color and interference pigments, his paintings are an invitation to move around the works in order to apprehend their joyful plurality. As it is often the case in his practice, Bernard Villers transcends the physical boundaries of his paintings and prolongs their impact through an extended space – and time – of discovery.
The work 2014 in 2019 by Guillermo Mora, formed by an overlap of several layers of painted papers, hides a drawing from the artist’s past. This piece does not only work as an image in and of itself, but also serves as a container for other images. Guillermo Mora develops a pictorial structure in which two temporal realities intertwine and coexist, as if the painting contained a secretive time capsule. The intruding fragment, set apart by a different color and texture, appeals to our curiosity and uses the past to evoke the idea of unexplored potentiality.
In the series 60 jours d’été, Stijn Cole captures the changing light of sixty different sunsets. His “timescapes” compress dozens of shots of a fixed point, taken between 7pm and midnight, in an abstract result that is as much a panorama as it is a chronological timeline. The horizon bisects the image – above it, the skies display delicate hues of brilliant blue, wooly grey, deep burgundy or charcoal black. Below it, the earth slowly welcomes the shadows of night. These works, created as a tribute to Marthe Wéry’s Sixty days of work, use recurrence as a structuring process while retaining an almost lyrical quality, evoking the Impressionist’s pursuit of a way to immortalize the fleeting perception of light.
The notion of recurrence also runs deep in Gudny Rosa Ingimarsdottir’s work. The artist uses recurring patterns through the years; shapes and sentences cycle through her body of work, jumping from a medium to another, creating echoes and semantic reverberations. Sometimes, she literally recycles fragments of her own work, removing them from an existing composition to revise them and place them in a new one. Gudny Rosa Ingimarsdottir’s practice shows that, knowingly or unconsciously, past and present are irrevocably connected and in constant dialogue. Her work process is methodical and meditative, some materials lying in wait for years in the studio before slowly coming together.
Gauthier Hubert’s practice is characterized by a similar relationship with time. His works often originate from the idea of a title, which is written in a notebook or on the wall of the studio and matures through a varying waiting period before taking shape on the canvas. In Peinture du dimanche peinte uniquement les dimanches sauf le fond, the artist humorously invites us to reflect on the classification and appraisal of works of art – genre painting and hobbyist painting (or “peinture du dimanche”) hold a special interest for him. This exploration is at the same time made more playful and deepened by the use of time as a performative device set at the heart of the creative process.
The intimate consciousness of time
at Irène Laub Gallery
Until Saturday 20.02
Read more about Stijn Cole, Gauthier Hubert, Gudny Rosa Ingimarsdottir, Athina Ioannou, Guillermo Mora and Bernard Villers