Graham Collins
05/06/2015 > 31/07/2015

Opening on 05/06/2015, from 7 pm to 9 pm

The Village is the first solo exhibition of GRAHAM COLLINS (born in Washington D.C. in 1980, lives and works in New York) at the gallery and brings together an ensemble of new works which combine painting and sculpture in an oxymoronic collection of chaotic ruin and organised composition. In his work, GRAHAM COLLINS develops a system based on reusing materials and the process of recycling, and disrupts the status of the objects he uses by their transformations and their associations. According to the artist, the works presented respond to four different 'typologies'. They constitute many distinct sets, each of which makes an unexpected use of found, saved or recycled materials.

With his free-form sculptures, GRAHAM COLLINS plays with the conventions of modern sculpture in a humorous way. The seven metal sculptures which are on show in the gallery are made up of different metal objects. Some have been picked up from the pavement during one of COLLINS's walks around the streets of New York; others are items which have been casted in bronze by the artist, ranging from crinkle-cut crisps to toothbrushes and fried plantain chips. The works made in this way produce a gratifying contrast between the banality of the objects chosen and the semi-precious nature of bronze.

The artworks from the Sewn Paintings series are made up of multiple canvas fragments from acrylic or oil paintings by other artists - some professional, some amateur - , which were bought from garages sales, on the internet or at auction. This series reinterprets the contemporary enigma of the status of the author. These works, created in the modernist aesthetic, are assemblages of figurative canvases which are sometimes naïve or realist, kitsch or expressionist. These compositions, put together with great care, cultivate a poetic sense of the cut-up method, inherited from American literature.

X-ray Paintings are oil-on-canvas works which accurately recreate the X-rays taken of old canvases for conservation purposes. These show the paintings' underlying structures, and sometimes one or more pre-existing paintings which remain beneath the work we see now. They reveal their hidden side and the secrets of their creation, allowing us a glimpse into their former lives. Each work borrows classic reproduction techniques from the original, including replication and squaring up, as well as the use of oil paint, but ultimately the only things depicted are these mysterious skeletons – the actual subjects of the original works remain invisible.

Finally, hidden beneath the tinted glass of Tinted Monochromes are spray-painted or coated canvases, all mounted in an old frame made of bits of reclaimed wood. These paintings combine the canon of abstract painting with the artist's taste for hand-crafted techniques and forms such as carpentry, or the use of big sheets of self-adhesive film of the type which is used to tint car windows. These works cannot be unveiled from behind their sparkling surfaces, and instead reflect the viewer's own image.