December 1, 2022

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Juxtapoz Magazine – Drawing No Conclusions: Alex Gardner @ Mine Project, Hong Kong

4 min read

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MINE Undertaking is pleased to present Drawing No Conclusions, the second solo exhibition by the American artist Alex Gardner in Hong Kong and with the gallery. Presenting the most current series of works on paper, this exhibition extends Gardner’s focus on the articulation of overall body language clues and talks about the common inquiries about individuality or integrity.

At no stage in his creative journey did Alex Gardner (b. 1987, Los Angeles, CA) seek out to facial area the spectator with a shaped subject issue of self-explanatory scenes. Sprouting from straightforward, enigmatical, and to some degree caricature-like ink drawings, his paintings made into candid scenes in which the existence of the viewer is acknowledged but not necessarily welcomed by the protagonists. This principle conditioned the abnormal framing and unforeseen compositional proposals, enabling the artist to focus on the articulation of fingers, wrists, feet, postures, and other overall body language clues. Operating with layers of watered-down acrylics and oversaturating the canvas surface with the spectacular colour contrasts, these practically cinematic snapshots permitted for the suggestive gestures or postures to outweigh the worth of realism or anatomical correctness. Mixed with exceptionally smoothened aesthetics, this sort of a Mannerism-like glorification of elegance and aesthetics pushed the topics a couple of techniques closer to an avatar, bionic overall look. So even though their hair curls and the drape-powerful, white t-shirts evoke the class of ancient Greeks in togas, their existence inside the pastel, stylized, and often abstracted environments pulled them back again into the current minute of ever more virtual existence. Along with a full absence of any cultural signifiers, such an unidentifiable time and area set up are the key traits of Gardner’s universally relatable oeuvre. The faceless human figures minimized to sentient silhouettes became the typical denominators by which the artist speaks of a intricate and personally elusive concept of identification. From there, the conversation unravels toward interactions, interaction, belonging, solitude, and basic human practical experience, continuously resisting the gravity pull of the operate revolving close to racial id.

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Fascinated in talking of these elaborate themes by offering the minimum doable amount of information and facts, the atmosphere relies on pressure and urgency in which the motion can be viewed possibly as risk-free or threatening, grasping or releasing, pulling or pushing, dependent on the viewer’s context. And the way these nearly clandestine scenes are laid out and rendered is some thing that Gardner appears to be to be specially interested in. Thematically extending on the paintings and current in the identical entire world, the 9 operates on paper comprising Drawing No Conclusions mark a fresh new phase on that journey by concentrating on the immediacy of the method relatively than building a substantial contextual change. With the removing of the brush as a mediator amongst the hand and the medium, the new delicate pastel will work on paper are revealing all the choices that led to the remaining outcome by its grainy texture. Unable to depend on the gradients of diluted paint when shaping the volumes, or mild and shadow results, these defining things are now shipped through the blend of seriously saturated colors. Even now offsetting the opportunity darkness of instructed narratives with the diligently picked out hue and worth selection, a comfy and suiting palette is crafted from the specks of pastel marks on the coarse area of the paper. By undertaking so, the human body styles, the drapes, the contrasts, and the light setup get a lot more intensified, earning an added glow of present-day artificiality. Because of to the way these visuals are composed and rendered, the accent seems to be on the corporeality of human knowledge, but instead of chatting about the evident race and/or gender issues, Gardner insists on common questions about individuality or integrity. Aside from that, the mixing of the vibrant pastel hues to render far more intense environment implies the interest in the way we’re interacting with the setting and impacting each other. This method can increase to attributing the environment to character-like features by which it is specifically interacting with the human protagonists (_foot graphic_, _slender walls_, _ft on a wall_). Possibly implying much more exact issue matter by the titles of the do the job (Remaining Or Ideal It is All The Exact or Worthless Nostalgia, both equally 2022), the ambivalence is now blazing through these romanticized portrayals of the universal human existence. Even now not pinpointing any definite narratives or drawing conclusions, Gardner is drawing and introducing new types of blank templates to which the observer can utilize their possess moods or activities. —Saša Bogojev



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