Material Images, curated by Nate Hitchcock, is on at the Johannes Vogt Gallery until the 5th of April. The text below is the exhibition’s press release.
“Material Images” brings together 10 artists whose practices encompass a diverse range of formal and procedural strategies. Tying them together are their concerns with abstraction and issues of materialization surrounding the status of images today.
Abstraction has taken an interesting turn in recent years. There has been a proliferation of abstract images, though not necessarily produced by artists. Abstraction is sitting on the surface of cultural production in general. Images today exist halfway between depictions of things that might exist in front of us and generalized forms. From the poorly Photoshopped cover of a teen fashion magazine to the icons on our smart phones, there is a conflation of the abstract and concrete, the image and the object, the static and activated, the unique and the serial, belief and disbelief.
The show aims to investigate how the fact that images are no longer what they seem is expressed in current art making. As images are no longer of something, but images that move and take on a life of their own as they are processed, constructed and filtered through collaborative information networks, the meaning they carry is multifaceted. Traces of their routes cling to them as cultural forces move them between formats and image contexts. On this journey, the depiction eventually wears thin. Left behind are images that are akin to an acceleration of “first name recognition” such as “Thank you, Andy.” They are seemingly distilled but heavily laden. Strategies for artistic confrontation with this current state of image making are varied. The selected group of artists contends with and acknowledges these mechanisms of manipulation as ideological structures for visual production to work with, or to work against.