In an age of proliferating digital imagery and technological development, painting might be expected to be losing its historical importance. The exhibition A Return to Smooth Space at The.Dot.Project in London proves the exact opposite: rather than rejecting traditional media, artists David Matthew King and Bertrand Fournier have not only embraced painting, but have also experimented with it through different approaches. Both artists employ vivid and bright colours – each brush stroke seems to be an attempt to unleash abstraction. The gallery is filled with a series of canvases occupied by abstract volumes and shapes as we observe both artists attempt to unfold their creative processes.
Through innovative use of traditional tools, the works respond to many of the conditions that are shaping our world. While King uses multi-coloured strokes that never touch each other, yet run freely across the canvas, Fournier explores blocks of colour and their relationship to lines. US artist, David Matthew King, approaches the medium of painting in a very minimalist fashion. His works are inhabited by simple brush strokes that bring life to the intact canvas. The works almost convey a feeling of an imaginary dialogue between the brush strokes and the canvas. This experimental approach reveals King’s relationship with language. The painting almost becomes the background of a personal narrative, an ongoing and deep investigation of artistic expression, brought to life by colourful shapes. The visual interaction between colours, volumes and shapes is held together by an inner balance that offers the works a sense of harmony.
Similarly, Bertrand Fournier’s practice demonstrates the profound interest in balanced compositions and colour combinations. Fournier’s style is characterised by precise figures accompanied by bright colours. The artist’s visual language oscillates between a monochromatic palette and a vibrant colour. His work is uncontaminated, unpretentious and pure in its abstraction. Infinite variations of colour, lines and surface. Long lines stretch across the canvas, surrounded by delicate, organic geometrical volumes. Some canvases appear to be split in half, others have had their edges smoothed. There are visual tricks, natural abstractions created by the simple use of colour.
A Return to Smooth Space feels gradual and meticulous. It conveys a strong sense of calm and order. Each shape, mark, brush stroke and surface seems to grow out of nothing, but direct abstraction, an invisible visual force that bursts into an explosion of colour. Flawless and introspective, the show leaves no space for complex thoughts and rationality, it is just an outburst of coloured shapes. The whole exhibition really gives you a possibility to be absorbed by the art.
Copy Written by Fiorella Lanni