The Solo Project Basel

sean branagan and paul cole
june 8th – june 14th

The Solo Project, Basel is interested in the curatorial emphasis that all the invited galleries can bring to the fair. Curated solo and two person shows of gallery artists are the order of the day. It is hoped that this approach will provide a more in depth understanding of each artist's work..

In line with the philosophy of the fair, VINEspace / GOODEN Gallery, will present a two person exhibition that puts the spotlight on the most recent developments in the practices of two of our gallery artists. Sean Branagan’s latest moving image pieces that explore video and painting will be shown alongside Paul Cole’s recent plasticine assemblages inspired by pages from 70’s porn magazines.

Sean Branagan’s work is characterized by the complexities and ambiguities of form, reality and perception that arise when traditional boundaries and expectations are challenged. He fuses moving image with the materials and practices associated with painting, sculpture and architecture.

His ‘Painting with People’ moving image canvases, exhibited in London and Edinburgh in 2008, are seminal because they propose two supplementary formal elements for painting: ‘movement’, which is fundamental, for example, in its consideration of the painting’s edge; and ‘time’ which regulates the internal rhythm of each canvas. The ‘subjects’ are deficient of free will, passive; stripped down to their barest (literally) to comply entirely with the formal needs of the painting.

The newest pieces have additional capacity for engagement. For example the act of viewing ‘Smokin’ (2009) becomes an act of participation; the naked female subject blinks and stares back at you so that conventional power structures of viewer over art-object are replaced by the pace and scope of a quasi-real encounter. In the pieces that will be on show, Branagan also allows selective reflection on works such as Edouard Manet’s ‘Olympia’ (1863) and ‘Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber,’ (1602) by Spanish Still Life painter Juan Sánchez Cotán.

Paul Cole’s work is defined by his breadth of enquiry and his compulsion to zoom in for a focused examination of something specific and then out again to navigate his way towards ‘somewhere else’. In 2007 he began making tiny plasticine sculptures to bring about monumental paintings (e.g. in the painting ‘Pilot’, a figure is sandwiched between giant coloured blobs). It was noted at the time that this method of instigating a painting provided a curious and ‘undefined’ narrative, but also rendered the work with an enduring sense of the ‘still life’.

It was not long before Cole inverted the process and started making wall based works with the plasticine itself, using 2d images from newspapers and magazines as his springboard. By squeezing, rolling and pressing the plasticine into position (his fingerprints are clearly visible) Cole is fascinated with how the contoured surfaces were determined entirely by the intricacies of building his chosen image (rather than the depiction of space)

With titles like ‘Christianne with Green Boots’ and ‘Angie’, these pieces are named after the porn stars featured on the magazine pages that inspired them. “When I was a boy growing up in Stevenage it was common to find these images stuffed in bushes in the woods. Back then they were potent pornographic images. Today they are tame; more kitsch than sexually explicit, however palpable their primary function”.

25a vyner st
bethnal green
london e2 9dg
+44(0) 20 8981 1233
open thurs-sun 12-6

The Solo Project
St Jakobshalle.
Brüglingerstrasse 19-21
4052 Basel

Monday June 8 - VIP Preview: 11 am-3 pm
General admission: 3 pm-8 pm

Tuesday-Saturday June 9-13
General admission: 11 am-8 pm

Sunday June 14
General admission: 11 am-5 pm

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