Martin John Callanan, Simon Faithfull,
Rebecca Partridge, Katie Paterson, Richard T Walker
20 July â€“ 15 September 2018
Parafin is delighted to announce a group exhibition, curatedâ€‹ â€‹by Rebecca Partridge. â€˜In Pursuit of Elusive Horizonsâ€™ continues a series of exhibitions featuring the same core group of artists, curated by Partridge with various co-curators, including â€˜Scaling the Sublime: Art at the Limits of Landscapeâ€™, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham (2018), â€˜Reason and Emotion: Landscape and the Contemporary Romanticâ€™, Kunstverein Springhornhof, Germany (2013) and â€˜Reason and Emotion: Landscape and the Contemporaryâ€‹ â€‹Romanticâ€™, Baroniet Rosendal, Denmark (2012).
Pursuing an elusive horizon conjures an image of the romanticâ€‹ â€‹figure in a lone and distant landscape, both longing for andâ€‹ â€‹questioning the existential relationship between self and nature. A decade ago, to describe an artwork, or an artist, as â€˜romanticâ€™ would be to suggest the absurdity of this scene, the romanticâ€‹ â€‹hero lost in his own subjective illusion. However, despite theâ€‹ â€‹dismissal of subjective states as serious subject for artistic enquiry, the impulse towards feeling and imagination remain. As oneâ€‹ â€‹of the artists in this exhibition recently remarked, â€˜I am, I guess,â€‹ â€‹a wonder junkieâ€™, one of a generation of artists who are increasinglyâ€‹ â€‹returning to grand narratives and timeless themes, thoughâ€‹ â€‹embraced with a simultaneous sense of distance, critique and irony.
This exhibition brings together five artists whose practice isâ€‹ â€‹expressive of this emergent sensibility, all of whom use landscape as a platform for exploring larger ideas. Each of the artists, inâ€‹ â€‹their own way, occupies the border between emotional experienceâ€‹ â€‹and objective reasoning, often fluctuating between multiple and contradictory positions, drawing on a wealth of art historicalâ€‹ â€‹languages. In 2010, cultural theorists, Robin van den Akkerâ€‹ â€‹and Timotheus Vermeulen defined this emerging cultural climateâ€‹ â€‹as Metamodern, describing a pervading shift in contemporary culture from detached irony to a desire for sincerity, to wanting to believe in something, to â€˜resignify the presentâ€™. This re-engagement with feeling and meta-narratives manifests through juxtapositions, collaboration, interdiscliplarity and a pervading sense of simultaneity and flux. Romanticism, they propose, be defined by a sense of oscillation; between projection and perception, and attempts at transcendence which ultimately, can never fully beâ€‹ â€‹realised. Contemporary romanticism functions in full awarenessâ€‹ â€‹of itâ€™s failures, yet carries on â€˜as ifâ€™ there is a possibility for alternative futures, investing, to quote Novalis, â€˜the commonplaceâ€‹ â€‹with significance, the ordinary with mystery and the finite withâ€‹ â€‹the semblance of the infiniteâ€™.
Through shared concerns for meta-narratives of scale, time and perceptual relationships to landscape, the artists here have found ways of combining languages, from the scientific to the sublime, that generate both ambiguity and intellectual clarity. â€˜In Pursuit of Elusive Horizonsâ€™ articulates a sense of exploration and curiosity, demonstrating that ultimately, our need for wonder is part of the human condition and affective experiences cannot be dismissedâ€‹ â€‹as being mutually exclusive to critical rigour. Instead these artists,â€‹ â€‹through a variety of strategies and a diverse range of media,â€‹ â€‹incorporate and embrace the contradictions and uncertainties of our time.
Martin John Callanan
b. 1982, UK; lives and works in Scotland.
Martin John Callananâ€™s artwork has been exhibited and published internationally. He has recently been awarded the prestigiousâ€‹ â€‹triennial Philip Leverhulme Prize in Visual Art 2014-17 forâ€‹ â€‹outstanding research, and in September 2015 he was awarded Alumnus of the Year for Excellence in the Arts by Birmingham City University. His was the first artist-in-residence at the Bankâ€‹ â€‹of England from 2015-16. Recent solo exhibitions include:â€‹ â€‹Noshowspace, London, Horrach Moya, Palma de Mallorca,â€‹ â€‹Baltic 39, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Or Gallery, Berlin. Recent group exhibitions include Es Baluard Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Mallorca, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany; Ars Electronic Centre, Austria, Kunstverein Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Germany, Riga Centre for New Media Culture, Latvia and Imperial War Museum North.
b. 1966, UK; lives and works in London and Berlin.
Simon Faithfull is Reader in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London. His wide-ranging practice is well knownâ€‹ â€‹internationally and his works are represented in many publicâ€‹ â€‹collections including the Pompidou Centre in France and theâ€‹ â€‹Government Art Collection, UK. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at the MusÃ©e Des Beaux Arts, Calais, Fabrica, Brightonâ€‹ â€‹and Kunstverein Sprinhornhof, Germany. His practice, combiningâ€‹ â€‹video, digital-drawing, writing and performing, has been describedâ€‹ â€‹as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculpturalâ€‹ â€‹object-to test its limits and report back from its extremities.â€‹ â€‹Recent projects include a journey across Africa tracing the Greenwich Meridian and the deliberate sinking of a ship to create an artificial reef.
b. 1976, UK; lives and works in Berlin and London.
Rebecca Partridge studied at the Royal Academy Schools, and is currently a Lecturer in Fine Art at West Dean College, UK. Recent solo exhibitions include In The Meantime at CCA Andratx,â€‹ â€‹Mallorca, and Notations at Kunstverein in Springhornhof,â€‹ â€‹Neuenkirchen, Germany. Recent international group exhibitions including â€˜Inorganic Landscapeâ€™, GIG, Munich (2017), Natureâ€‹ â€‹Art Biennale, Gongu, South Korea (2016), â€˜A Planetary Orderâ€™, Galerie Christian Ehrentruat, Berlin (2014). Grants awardedâ€‹ â€‹include Terra Foundation for American Art Summer Fellowship and residencies from Kunsthalle CCA Andratx and The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. In 2017 she was awarded a residency from the Nordic Artistsâ€™ Centre where she made the works for this exhibition. She writes for several contemporary art journals including Berlin Art Link, Hyperallergic and Sculptorvox.
b. 1981, UK; lives and works in Scotland.
Katie Paterson studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Patersonâ€™s work is known internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Utah Museum of Fine Art, USA, Somerset House, London, Cenbtre PasqArt, Biel, The Lowry, Salford, FRAC Franche Comte BesanÃ§on, France; Kunstverein Springhornhof, Germany, Mead Art Gallery, University of Warwick, Kettleâ€™s Yard, Cambridge,â€‹ â€‹and BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna. Her works have beenâ€‹ â€‹exhibited in major exhibitions including â€˜Light Showâ€™, Hayward Gallery, London and tour (2013-15), â€˜Dissident Futuresâ€™, Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts, San Francisco (2013), â€˜Light and Landscapeâ€™ at Storm King Art Centre, New York (2012), â€˜Marking Timeâ€™ at MCA, Sydney (2012), and â€˜Altermodernâ€™ at Tate Britain (2009). Her work is included in important international collectionsâ€‹ â€‹including the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York,â€‹ â€‹Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Arts Council Collection, London, Arts Institute of Chicago and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Richard T. Walker
b. 1977, UK; lives and works in San Francisco.
Richard T Walker studied at Goldsmith College, London. He has exhibited and performed world-wide, including solo and group exhibitions at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yerbaâ€‹ â€‹Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, The Contemporaryâ€‹ â€‹Austin, Austin, Texas, Times Museum Guangzhou, China,â€‹ â€‹Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeir, Hiroshima City ofâ€‹ â€‹Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan, Witte De With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands. His work is held in collections including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Kadist Foundation, San Francisco/Paris, and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf.