KADAR BROCK Dredge
Reception: Wednesday, September 4th, 6-9pm
September 4 – October 10, 2013
The Hole is proud to announce the first solo show with the gallery by artist Kadar Brock, dredge. Brock has participated in thematic group exhibitions with the gallery the past two years that have focused on new ways to make an abstract painting; however, this September, he stretches out to fill the entire main space with major new pieces. In dredge Brock exhibits three types of work that are from the same life cycle of his materials and manifest as different forms of his very personal “history” paintings.
In what are his most well known type of paintings—the sanded, scraped and distressed works that are often heavily perforated stretched canvasses—Brock originated his approach to breaking down and rebuilding older artworks. Taking paintings from almost a decade ago that were bright and geometric, Brock scrapes the works down and covers them with layers upon layers of pastel pigments, then attacks the results by hand in a laborious process of both painting and scraping with a knife and sanding with a belt sander. The former painting’s composition dictates where the razor catches and the sander obliterates, as the past is transformed into an ethereal and strongly objective work that hovers between materials and art, past and present.
The second body of work exhibited here is another form of ritualistic painting, where all the scrapings of paint and the ensuing colorful chips end up. Swirled together like a tornado of shredded pigments, these paintings are dense and insistently autonomous paint, a thicket providing no point of entry.
The final body of work exhibited here is the most obliterated, the pulverized dust from his artistic process, cast delicately into plaster and retaining the powdered and puckered surface, the final point of the destruction of painting before nothingness, the atoms of his artistic universe.
While the technique is an important part of both the appearance and concept behind his work, these pieces on their own exist in a phenomenological world of ideas and concepts divorced from process. The composition of the pieces is dictated by former gestures made with a paintbrush, and ultimately the final work maintains some of that gestural quality: however, due to the transformation of the original piece, these gestures become frozen, petrified, grown over. The works hint at the artist hand, even though the artist’s hand is here wielding a sander and razor. The hand as we see it manifest in the final result is a ritualistic, labor intensive hand, a repetitive, blistered and very dirty hand.
While expressionistic brushstrokes have always deified the romantic artistic genius in this metonymically phallocentric way, these works bury that gesture under labor and randomness, taking away that precious autonomy and also the burden of decision making. The process of making the work is also the process of deconstructing the self, and if the sublime is an idea of a lone genius confronting some consciousness-obliterating hugeness (nature, technology, etc.), then how do these paintings that cede that first-person centrism appear just so sublime?
Brock has exhibited widely both with us and around the world, from solo shows at Vigo Gallery in London, Horton Gallery Berlin and Motus Fort, Tokyo; to solo booths in Basel and New York, and group shows from Mexico to Milan to Sotheby’s uptown in the city. Recent articles on his work have appeared in Dazed and Confused, Purple, and Another Magazine.
For more information on works in this exhibition please contact Kathy@theholenyc.com