Susan Collis .- This Way Down
30/mar/2019 - 04/may/2019
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Espacio Mínimo gallery presents the third solo exhibition in its space by the British artist SUSAN COLLIS. With the title This Way Down, uses a variety of techniques and strategies to investigate issues concerning interpretation, craft, value and labour.
Everyday objects are presented etched, splattered and stained with marks of work, wear and tear. At first glance, the marks seem to be the accidental results of normal use, and as such seem meaningless and not worthy of examination. However, her works involve momentous amounts of often hidden labour to create an object that may easily go unnoticed, but is replete with value, be it material or conceptual.
Much of COLLIS’ work is a meticulous and effective visual exercise, an interesting work of camouflage, an illusory game of confusion that constantly tests the viewer’s perception by playing with our ability to discern between what we believe or hope to see and what we are actually watching. The artist is interested in the change of perception and appreciation that we experience when we discover that those everyday objects marked by the traces of the use and wear of time are, in fact, a careful and intentional elaborations. And, moreover, that the materials used to make them, which we thought were erroneously common and without value, they are precious financial and artistically.
For this exhibition, COLLIS is presenting some works, all of them dated in 2019, with diferent techniques and materials that all refer to the process of disintegration and fallibility. Many of the pieces can be seen as metaphors for the trust that we put in institutions, etc, especially in the current political climate.
The frayed tarpaulin drawings Blown, refer to a destroyed tarpaulin covering. Installed at 7 points, in the four corners and high up on the walls of the space, they are frayed survivors that hint of a whole piece of blue tarpaulin that once was stretched across the space and has since fallen apart.
The black squares of the patchwork piece – Washed up have all been taken from old black clothes, found in rummage sales and thrift stores. Taking as its starting point, the black monochrome painting, Washed up instead displays in each square, the subtle marks of fading and wear and tear that time and the body have made upon the once new, black fabric.
This way down is a black ink drawing in reverse of tiny particles of falling dust. Dust is, of course, tiny fragments of everything in our universe, including ourselves, in a continual process of breaking down and disintegrating.
In a slightly different vein is No sign of slowing down is another reverse drawing, this time of two paintbrush marks. These marks appear at first glance to be quick, gestural acts, created in seconds. I am interested in slowing down time and re-creating these marks by a meticulous process of observational drawing.
The three drawings that make up Hangout, all feature trompe l’oiel threads, hanging over the nails which attach them to the wall at different angles. The nails (ordinary) appear to hold ‘lines’ of coloured pencil, graphite and ball-point.
SUSAN COLLIS (Edimbourg, United Kingdom, 1956), lives and works in London. She regularly shows with European and American galleries. Whitin her solo projects at institutional spaces we can find Since I fell for you, Ikon, Birmingham and Sculpture Show, Torrance Art Museum, CA in 2010 or Without you the world goes on, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, USA in 2019. She had taken part in distinguished collective shows such as An Archaeology, Project Space 176, The Zabludowicz Collection, London 2007, Out of the Ordinary, The V&A Museum, London 2007, Out of the Ordinary, Tullie House, Carslile 2009, At Your Service, The David Roberts Foundation, London 2009, Bizarre Perfection, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem 2009, The Sculpture Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham 2009, Apparently Invisible, The Drawing Center, New York 2009; Nod Nod Wink Wink, Taos Museum, New Mexico 2010, False documents and other illusions, Portland Museum of Art, Maine 2010, Testing Ground: Disappearing into one, 176 / Zabludowicz Collection, London 2013, Make Belive, Nottingham Castle Museum, Nottingham 2013, Lifelike, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego y New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans en 2013 y Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona en 2014, The Needle’s Eye, Kode, Art Museum of Bergen, Bergen 2014 y The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design Oslo, Oslo 2015, Material Issue, KMAC Museum, Louisville, Kentucky 2016, Shored Against Ruin: Fragments from the University of Edinburgh Collections, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh 2018 and Without you the world goes on, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa 2019,…
Her works form part of important public and private collections such as The Arts Council Collection, UK, Museum of Israel, Jerusalem, Rochdale Museum of Art; The David Roberts Foundation, London, The Zabludowicz Collection, London; Paul Smith, London; Doris Lockhart Saatchi, London; University of Edimburgo; Progressive Art Collection, USA; National Collection, France (FNAC), Christchurch Art Gallery, Nueva Zelanda, Caldic Collection, The Netherlands,… and in Spain Helga de Alvear Collection.