Very Still Life
July 6, 2007
Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of work by Glasgow based artist Charlie Hammond in the United States. Through the use and manipulation of an unlikely range of material – rocks, rags and gingham tablecloths – the artist presents ‘Very Still Life’, a new group of framed oil paintings.
A longing for a simpler existence permeates subject, material and process in the works on view. The painting titled ‘Outofcountydownshifter (macaroni style)’ is created by inserting a paintbrush in the end of a drill, with Hammond’s ‘macaroni style’ emerging as eccentric lines in the painting’s background. This deliberate appropriation of mark making is intended as a wry take on modernist values, which Hammond acknowledges all the while maintaining his tongue firmly in his cheek.
In ‘Sculpture of Stone Thrower or Technological Retreat’, a hulking figure is conjured from rocks and oil paint, fused through a crude process of piercing the canvas with actual stones. As in much of his work, Hammond invents a controlled situation that allows for a spontaneous and playful approach to image making. The end result is a conversation of technique and title.
Although tied to a number of art historical references, such as artist and essayist Asger Jorn’s interest in the idea of object subjectivity or the modernist view of uncontrollable abandon, Hammond’s work appears freshly excavated from an archeological dig of high art aesthetics. His work demonstrates how images reveal themselves through the most basic marks and gestures.