Impossible Objects I

24 June - 16 July 2011








Utopian Slumps is pleased to announce Impossible Objects, a two-part exhibition program organised in conversation by Melissa Loughnan and Helen Hughes,  taking place between June and August at Utopian Slumps. Continuing on from Discreet Objects, which explored absorptive, post-minimalist formalisms based on Brian Eno’s notion of ‘discreet music’, Impossible Objectsextends this spatial investigation by considering gestalt relationships between figure and ground, based on the optical illusion of ‘impossible’ or ‘undecidable objects’. As with the previous exhibition, Impossible Objects pivots around a formal code: the works  included display, in part, a refusal of a two or three-dimensional status and share an impossible contingence with their environments.

In Impossible Objects I, spatial incongruities are primarily explored through the lens of appropriated imagery and are considered through the work of artists Dan Bell, Fergus Binns, Christopher L.G. Hill, Liang Luscombe, Moya McKenna and Tim Price. In an antagonistic, Greenbergian gesture, Luscombe’s works refuse their status as paintings, instead drawing upon more elaborate support structures to render them as three-dimensional objects. The relief surface of Binns’ paintings on Paintwell two dollar shop canvases typically incorporate sand, cotton wool, paint brushes, and collage to three-dimensional effect, further confusing notions of painting and sculpture, figure and ground. McKenna’s collage series, A cut through history, are as much about their exclusions as their inclusions, silhouettes of figures and forms have been cut from imagery of the Great Wall of China, unclear whether they are receding or advancing. Price’s collage-style paintings of domestic interiors, gardens and everyday scenes are heavily layered, painted over and over until the beginning and end becomes difficult to recognise, while Hill’s assemblages bring collage into the third dimension — unexpected objects such as an umbrella, glass vase, wooden tulip and fold up chair challenge the traditional notion of the two-dimensional depiction of a still life.