GO ASK THE TIME
Katrin Mäurich & Gregory Tingay
"Within the act of contemplation the spatial does not exclude time but it emphasizes simultaneity instead of sequence, presence instead of cause and effect, ubiquity instead of identity."
(John Berger, Go Ask The Time, Granta 15, 1985).
Gregory Tingay (b. 1965, Harare) and Katrin Mäurich (b. 1979, Berlin) are showing here together for the first time.
Katrin is about to relocate to Scotland and has selected paintings made during the thirteen years she has spent in London. Each of the pieces Gregory is presenting here were made especially for this show, over the last month.
Despite their very different backgrounds, there was an immediate feeling of kinship when these two artists first met, and it became quickly apparent that this extended to the way they approached their work. Both make work intuitively and there is a strong sense of commitment and the highest degree of attentiveness to the quality of material, surface, edge, composition. These values are evident in every piece presented in this exhibition.
'Some pots are made quickly. They speak of a moment, of catching a fugitive idea in clay, glaze and fire, and moving on. Others, like these beautiful vessels by Gregory Tingay, record a different kind of time. They speak of a quality of paying attention to the volume and articulation of edge, the way in which the lip of a bowl or jar holds tile change of mood between interior and exterior. They are considered. That is they come from someone who has understood the practice of everyday life, tile passage of days, and knows that to spend hours, or days, or weeks on the discovery of a pattern, the flow of lines into an efflorescence, is a beautiful thing. If is always difficult to make such painstaking work. speak with delight and pleasure. But these vessels with their modulations of glaze and their sensitivity to surface ask to be picked up and held and turned, their weight and balance appreciated. They deserve to have proper time taken with them.' - Edmund de Waal is one of the world's leading ceramic artists and his porcelain is held in many major international collections.
'I remember being quite young, downing a bowl of oatmeal. My mother sat at the corner of the breakfast table, her chin in her palm, gazing intently down at me. "What?" I asked, spoon in mid-air. "Nothing," she said, pulling herself up. "It's just that when you love someone, you love to watch them eat." I thought about this, and in my basic, 6-year-old way I first understood that as what I ate diminished, I myself increased, and that love made that OK. Nothing lost. Love meant having a witness. Later I came to understand this sort of spilling, bridging preservation to be true of time, and by extension of painting, and by extension, everything.
In Katrin Mäurich's painting, the constituent, often disparate parts that go into making her imagery eat at one another, at once diminishing and increasing one another. Empathic color and discerning drawing nibble away at one another's edges, as do her painting's lateral compositions and their frontal presence, as well the duration of her painting's influence and the immediacy of its impact. Her painting as an event eats away at her painting as an object, and happens then in reverse, verb and noun spilling into each other.
In no single aspect of Mäurich's vernacular is this ingestive dynamic more evident, and more individuated, than in the shape of her supports. The chassis of her painting pushes out along with her imagery, like a corona, only to implode and crimp under the weight of the environment, only to push out again, sometimes at an oblique, sometimes with torque, but always persistent. In one way they are like shields; in another like heartbeats.
Painting is a perennial address continually reinventing itself. The questions are the same. The answers change. The questions and answers eat away at each other. Mäurich's paintings evidence the essential sustenance of this exchange.
Nothing? My mother might as well have answered when I asked what, "It's just everything.' - George Lawson is the owner of George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco.