Galleria Franco Noero is pleased to present the fourth solo show in Turin of Canadian artist Andrew Dadson. Painting (Islands) features a series of brand new works which all continue Dadson’s extensive experiments with abstraction and space. Through a variety of different mediums, from painting to film to photography, he seeks to explore the possibility of overcoming the perceived challenges of physical and natural space, translating this into his work while stretching the boundaries beyond the immediate and conventional way one looks at things.
Seven large new paintings are a fresh and thorough dive into methods more traditionally related to sculpting, the thick oil paint crossing the canvases in dynamic accumulations and vibrant textures. Each mark and shape has been carved, hammered and chiselled into the paint before it slowly cements itself. Thickly impastoed and layered, the paintings open new perspectives in the ongoing research of the artist in materiality and process, and in the possibility of extending themselves in a third dimension. They proudly bear the marks of their making, the paint scraped, pulled and applied in sweeping gestures so that the artist’s hand is readily visible in the final result. The bottom accumulation of built-up paint, usually densely and dramatically floating beyond the edges of the canvases, has shifted into the center in a series of painterly and geometric shapes. As he notes, “the larger shapes and sculpted paint that are typical of the edges of my painting will start to move into the middle and create more of an embossed and bas-relief quality of painting.”
Interspersed between these large paintings, a series of small re-stretched works punctuate the gallery spaces confronting constantly the viewer with a size shift. These small works will act like the ‘islands’ which give the title to the exhibition, letting one move throughout the space following and reflecting a colour gradient of red, yellow, green, blue, purple and, finally, silver. Dadson is well-known for these re-stretched works, where the original canvas with scrapped paint piling up on the four sides is re-stretched onto larger bars. A deliberate attempt and wish to accentuate the tension on the surrounding space and on the materiality of the oil paint, reverberating on three different planes –wall/raw canvas/painted area- in a continuous push between foreground and background.
Displayed in continuous flow and fluid relation with the canvases, Sunrise/Sunset (2015) is a new dual 16mm film projected on opposing walls. Dadson filmed a sunset in Oahu, Hawaii at extreme close-up, filling the whole frame with the burning, spherical sun. As the sun disappears below the horizon, it equally begins to rise out of the clouds on the opposite side of the facing wall, eventually getting to a mirrored flotation when the same images overlap in the loop. Two projectors are connected by the passing of the film from one to the other, turning the daily natural phenomena of the rise and fall of the sun into a meditative movement between light and dark, as well as simultaneously making evident through the machines a visual circularity, an acceleration in time and a perception of our surrounding space never achievable otherwise.
In a more intimate space, a large wall will be fully occupied by a grid of 135 framed pictures, continuing the ongoing photographic research of the artist called Cuneiform. After its first appearance at his recent solo show at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Cuneiform 161-295 (2013-ongoing) is a unique selection of photographs constantly shot by the artist on the streets, aiming to create an archive depicting the marks and shapes of the pressed glue left on exterior walls. The glue marks are revealed as the signage they held up is removed, leaving anonymous, abstract traces of their past purpose. Taken in Vancouver and Los Angeles, the images hint toward a hidden language of gesture by the sign-posters, helped by Dadson’s seemingly straightforward way of representing them as in an informative museum display. There is an implied hierarchy of brush strokes and abstraction in combination with the environment they have sought to modify, creating new and unique patterns and colours on the built world.