Alexis Harding Bi-product Depositories
Mummery + Schnelle
27 November – 19 December 2009
For six years Harding has been using the plain cardboard covers of a 2003 catalogue of his work as drawing boards and depositories for the bi-product of his studio practice. Now numbering 120, these studies will be installed on one wall of the main gallery space at Mummery + Schnelle. Collectively they act as companions to the paintings made over the same period and provide a unique insight into Harding’s thoughts and working processes.
In the beginning the catalogue covers were grounds for repeated actions such as the sieving of paint from failed paintings and cleaning the brush. Over time, a visual language evolved describing the real time of the studio, the attempt to give an order to its disorganisation and to its Modernist residue. Recurrent motifs create a schematic illusionism – paint balls, towerblocks, Islands, horizon lines, paint detritus, days of the week, paint boulders, anthropomorphous perching gestures, paint growths, heads, neglected aerial vegetation, paint excavation, signposts.
Harding’s exhibition will also include three recent paintings that further illustrate the move away from the grid-like central motif characteristic of his earlier work that was evident in his 2007 exhibition at Mummery + Schnelle. There is a continued exploration of control, failure and contingency in the making of the work, but the grid has been replaced with a single poured line, enlarged and distorted, that becomes almost corporeal. The new series of broken line and arrow paintings engender a deepening dialogue between the material and bodily act of painting and the reception of it.