Critics’ Picks

View of “Surface to Surface,” 2012.

View of “Surface to Surface,” 2012.


“Surface to Surface”

Jonathan Viner Gallery
28 Old Nichol Street London
March 14–April 14, 2012

A fixation with processes, clearly indebted to post-Minimalism, links the paintings and sculptures in this group show. The connection is most explicit in Oscar Tuazon’s large-scale welded steel and glass frame Cloud, 2012, and Eddie Peake’s The Bass Resonating in My Body Makes Me Feel Female, 2012, a plasterboard wall punched with holes, presumably from a sledgehammer. Here, Tuazon and Peake perform the phases of a structure’s reduction and demonstrate the somatic interaction of materials that takes place across the show.

Nearby, Dan Rees, having applied acrylic to a canvas sheet and then pressed the still-wet sheet to a wall, has hung the sheet alongside the print it made, thus exposing the print’s own production. In a similar vein, Josh Smith has positioned one 2009 painting, with familiar inscription of his name, on a wall in the lower level of the gallery and has situated another (a painting of a leaf) on one flight up. The pair operates along a vertical, if staggered, plumb line.

Generating a three-way dialogue back on the ground floor, an untitled 2011 painting by Joe Bradley is positioned directly across from Smith, and the bright compositions of these works interact with Rees’s vibrant piece on the adjoining wall. Indeed throughout the show, conversations between works are at times so congruent they begin to fuse. As a result, these discursive pairs serve to undermine any stable recognition of their individual gestures, which are otherwise distinctive.