Entitled Mainland, the Beveridge‘s exhibition is illustrated by an image that presents the opposite: a desert island. The sun bleached advertisement stages a destination on the fringe of the world; once a place of luxury, it is now forgotten, abstracted and submerged in shades of blue. The artworks in the exhibition echo this duality, conflict and mysticism of Island and Mainland in form and feeling. Here we witness found and made objects: a structure made of chrome, usually used as storage units for shop displays, is pushed until it becomes uncannily wrong, while off kilter glass bubbles clutch to the edges of obsolete advertisements portraying young and distant women whose image is aged and discoloured.
Rees engages with a tradition of conceptual art making, in which familiar tropes and genres – monochromes, abstracts, ready-mades – are quietly unhinged and recuperated as strategies for production. The exhibition’s central series of Artex Paintings revive a decorative ceiling pattern, popular in British working class homes during the 1970s. Creating this type of plasterwork, once a skilled manual job, has now been rendered all but redundant as the material fell out of fashion during the late 1980s. His methodology is driven through both a recognition of the steady disappearance of the working class over recent decades and the overwriting of much of its history, as much of the disappearance of artex as a decorative mean itself. Within Rees’ paintings, distinctive shell-like patterns are combed through energetically coloured fields. Incidental manifestations within the fluid oil register against the formal exercise of combing, which both obliterates and transforms the painted surface beneath.
Save the date: the two exhibitions will run during Brussels Art Days – 11 to 13 September.