Abstract Critical

Magnetic Fields: Jeanne Masoero in conversation with Sarah Kent

Written by Jeanne Masoero, Sarah Kent, Sam Cornish

 

Magnetic Field X 2011, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm

Magnetic Field X, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm

On the occasion of her exhibition ‘Magnetic Fields’, held last year at the Gallery Petit, Jeanne Masoero spoke to Sarah Kent about her work. There are a couple of editing glitches in the video but worth over-looking. The paragraphs below are excerpts from a short piece I wrote in 2012 on Masoero’s work for The Piper Gallery. I have only included recent work here, but images of earlier pieces referred to in the film can be seen on Masoero’s website.

Sam Cornish

Magnetic Field VII, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm

Magnetic Field VII, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm

“The sense of light and space the pictures create in part suggests the retinal after-image of a vast horizon. But this is counter-acted by a remoteness about the images, which maintain a curious detachment from the white surface, and avoid the common trope of abstract art as surrogate landscape. Rather than creating an abstract equivalence to physical experience, Masoero’s  art is metaphysical or conceptual in bent, and as Guy Brett has suggested her paintings are ‘something like an emblem, map, model, token or template.’ She herself sees painting ‘as a model of endlessness. That is, an extended abstraction which moves beyond completed forms or images, to a form of energy contained by the canvas but suggesting something bigger.’”

Magnetic Field IX (diptych) 2011, acrylic on canvas, each 81 x 61cm

Magnetic Field IX (diptych) 2011, acrylic on canvas, each 81 x 61cm

[the following was written in relation to Masoero's paper-reliefs, but has much resonance with the Magnetic Fields]: “Starting in the centre and working outwards slight deviations in the pattern build the character of the whole and suggest ‘captured time’ and an extension beyond the canvas’ limits. Though the artist’s touch is important the play of light and shadow across the pristine surfaces actively denies this to the viewer. This remove contributes to the ability of the series as a whole to suggest a plentitude beyond their ostensible reduction; something also created by the way in which vastly different scales can be implied within each work. In his introduction to the ICA catalogue Paul Overy wrote about ‘an effect of silence, not a silence which is blank but one which allows things to be heard which otherwise might not be.’”

Magnetic Field VIII 2011, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm

Magnetic Field VIII 2011, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm