It’s a fine line
4-21 November 2020
This exhibition makes use of a line that travels around the gallery, becoming an organising device that supports work and integrates it with the architecture. The resulting interior environment sits somewhere between the Weiner Werkstatte’s notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk or ‘total work of art,’ which sought to create a unified aesthetic across a designed environment, and Adolf Loos’ and the Bauhaus’ rejection of the Werkstatte’s decorative tendencies in favour of a stringent functionalism. The line here is functional: it supports works physically and unifies different types of work. It is not, however, immune to decorative flights of fancy: the decorative nature of the line transforms the ‘white cube’ of the gallery, softening it and giving it a slightly more domestic feel. .
The idea of an interior ‘baseline’ goes back to Roman times, where painted or moulded lines were used to frame frescoes, and to create faux architectural details. The line in this exhibition will play off of traditional interior devices such as wainscoting and picture rails, which were functional, but which were also used to organise interior spaces, connecting them to each other and creating visual focal points.
Some of the work in It’s a Fine Line begins with imagery of historical abstract and decorative designs, while some of it begins with photographs taken in daily life – often while on walks or commuting to work. The combination of photographs and historical imagery kicks off a drawing process through which the work develops. Some of these drawings and photos are included in the exhibition to create a context for the work, and to open it up to new interpretations.