Refrain is Ian Grose’s third solo exhibition with Stevenson, and features works that meditate on the materiality of…material; printed fabric is the chief subject matter of the show. With this visual pun as nexus, Ian explores different mediums through his medium of choice – oil paint on linen – rendering the original three dimensional substance in a two dimensional painting, which is then itself a three dimensional object.
The artist’s statement accompanying the show explains this wry image-play, stating that “one of the guiding principles for him is the idea, or ideas, of materialism, especially in regard to representation. Being faced with both an image of something from the world, and the image’s physical existence as an object – the painting – Grose seeks to navigate the contradictions and relationships between these realities.”
In an interview we did with Ian back in 2013, he mentioned the importance that photographs play in his art making. While we don’t known precisely whether Corner Spirit I-V were painted from life or photographs, the paintings themselves have a photographic quality to them; careful reproductions of mundane details, adding a further to the layers of representation. Indeed, Ian says of this: “The picture-metaphor mimics elements of the world, but after some time the world seems to adopt attributes of the picture. What might be behind it? What is its texture?”
Ian is interested in the philosophy of painting, particularly the ways in which the world, viewer and picture come together to propose or define meaning for each other. In Ian’s work, subject matter functions as a pretext to the painting itself, rather than the other way around. He is interested in the potential of a work to function as object an object of experience, and how this might act as metaphor for the experience of seeing and representing the world.
Refrain is on at Stevenson in Joburg until the 31 July 2015.
The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday from 10am to 1pm.