Private View: Wednesday 21st of July 6:30 - 9pm
London (London Bridge)
Thick gestures of paint in seductive shades of pink and red call to mind the shimmering petals of flowers blooming while on other canvases, abstract lines and forms writhe in mesmerising psychedelic patterns. Through their distinct artistic practices, André Hemer and Anne Vieux are both interested in exploring processes of rematerialisation whereby physical materials are translated into digital forms and then back into three-dimensional objects. <sensor glow>, their joint exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde gallery, presents a captivating series of new works that make reference to the digital sublime, in which beauty arises through a sense of uncanny or imperfection. Harnessing technological tools alongside physical gestures and the ethereal qualities of light, both artists create a sense of suspended movement that beguiles the viewer’s perception while drawing attention to the layered materiality of each image.
New Zealand-born artist André Hemer scans physical objects (either found or created from paint) en plein air to capture not only a version of the object, but also the surrounding landscape and atmospheric conditions of that particular day. Most of these most recent works were scanned between 5pm and 8pm, in the soft evening light of spring and summer in Vienna, resulting in warm red, pink and yellow tones which imbue the works with a certain romanticism that’s further emphasised by the abstracted forms of illuminated flowers. Hemer refers to the works as “recomposed landscapes”, but in their abstraction and the visible “glitches” where forms appear broken or fractured as a result of the artist’s hand moving the objects across the flatbed, the images also possess a compelling sense of the uncanny. ‘The digital world is chasing the sublime in its effort to produce something perfectly rendered but when you go outside, and look up at the sky it doesn’t exist in that frozen state of perfection,’ says the artist. ‘In the scanning process, I’m capturing one moment of beautiful light and reflection, and that in itself produces a disconnect from reality.’
While the works seek to capture the ephemeral qualities of light and space, Hemer also works over his scanned images with thick, luscious swirls of paint, adding further layers of texture and depth. Appearing through hazy, liminal layers, the gestures appear suspended in a continual, fluid process of transference between form, and yet, they are caught in their materiality, existing as artefacts of a particular moment in time. In this way, the artist makes visible the process of creation, inviting us to consider how our perceptions might be shaped and manipulated by the images that we consume. This also relates back to the bracketing around the exhibition’s title, which references the language of code and is suggestive of a kind of program or filter that you can add to create a certain effect. For Hemer, the effect is achieved through natural light, whereas for New York-based artist Anne Vieux the glow is the result of artificial light and her colour palette arises through technological manipulations.
Vieux begins by scanning sheets of holographic and translucent paper, which similarly to Hemer, she moves across the flatbed to create an implied sense of motion. The captured images are then digitally altered through layers of wrapping and repetition, and transferred onto the canvas, after which the artist adds lines of airbrushed acrylic paint. The work’s high saturation of colour and bold forms are indebted to colour field painting and have a sense of immediacy as well as a shimmering cosmic quality that references both the virtual space and ideas of infinity. This expansiveness is further emphasised by the way in which the image appears to expand beyond the edges of the canvas, questioning the limits and boundaries between the virtual and material realms, while the large scale adds to the sense of immersion so that each artwork becomes a kind of window or threshold into a realm of colour and form.
In contrast to Hemer’s more sculptural surfaces, Vieux’s artworks appear flat and smooth from a distance, but closer inspection reveals splatters of paint and moments of the accidental. ‘In these hybrid paintings, it is my goal to slow down the experience of virtual space, and speed up the experience of painting space. Through the distortion and the capturing of light, gesture, scale, and pattern, I explore making the often overlooked transitory moments, making the invisible visible,’ she says. In this way, <sensor glow> not only initiates a dialogue between two highly personal painterly languages, but also invites us, as viewers, to more carefully consider how the production processes and temporal aspect of imagery might influence our perspectives.