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Amikam Toren & John Frankland: New works 6 July–7 August 2005

Amikam Toren & John Frankland | New works, 2005
Amikam Toren, Untitled Clouds in Trousers, 2001-date (installation view) John Frankland, Untitled Brown Work, 2005 (installation view) John Frankland, Untitled Brown Work, 2005 (installation view)
Press information
Neither a solo nor a group show, the works of Amikam Toren and John Frankland will hang in a shared space. Both artists have previously shown at Matt’s Gallery; Toren in 1981 and ’84, and Frankland in 1996 and ’99. Adapting a series of small spaces, Frankland and Toren will install works that characterize their individual concerns, yet share a relation to painting, and to the sculptural re-articulation of familiar representational forms.

This exhibition brings together Amikam Toren’s Memento Paintings and Clouds in Trousers and John Frankland’s Brown Works:

Memento Paintings are a group of miniatures (begun in 2001) evolved from Toren’s Armchair Paintings, which take a readymade ‘decorative’ painting as the material for the work. Memento Paintings discard all but the corner of a painting, retaining the painter’s signature. Toren exposes the fold of canvas that has been tucked to the side and back of the frame, and, attaching the canvas to a board, signs his name below the signature of the painter.

Hanging from the walls are paint-besmirched overalls-come-paintings, Clouds in Trousers. Made with common white boiler-suits, each has one trouser-leg split and stretched over a frame. Pictures are painted on these canvasses using oils, and the excess paint wiped on the remainder of the garment becomes part of the finished work. The Clouds in Trousers series pays homage to the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, after his long poem entitled Cloud in Pants (1913).

Amikam Toren has, since the 1970’s, been producing works that explore the relation between form and content, object and representation, and between the languages of sculpture and painting. Toren produces works through rituals of reduction (destruction) and re-construction, his practice exploring the extent to which the processes of making and consuming art can be compounded.

This is the first showing of pieces from John Frankland’s Brown Works series. The works, constructed from MDF and wood, take on the language of sculpture, but being wall hung and rectilinear allude also to painting. Brown Works reframe the notion of emptiness, each object capturing light to create different planes of texture and density within and without. Bowing under their own weight, the works undermine the authority of the frame as a device, their form determined by the point of tension that is created in their hanging upon the wall.

John Frankland’s sculptural works explore illusory surfaces, weightiness and weightlessness, often intervening with the architectural landscape to alter and create surfaces that disorient the viewer and challenge his/her perception. You Can’t Touch This (1993) and what you lookin’ at? (1996) employed large-scale wooden frames over which polythene was stretched as a taught skin, creating an illusion of solidity that belied the fragility of the material. Frankland’s current series Brown Works suggest the same delicacy and vulnerability as the polythene works, but without the taut, unified ‘surface’, the frame is revealed and remains.

Amikam Toren is represented by Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London

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