November 26, 2013

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast (with Ross Iannatti, Dylan Lynch, Torey Thornton, Morgan-Richard Murphey, Grear Patterson, Landon Metz)

With much expectation from his several followers, Rod Barton relocates at a new 1700 sqft space in London. The gallery on Consort road opened last Friday with a collective co-curated with Jonathan Ellis-King which title, “Six Impossible Things before Breakfast”, is taken from Lewis Carrol’s book “Through the Looking Glass, and what Alice Found There”. But what are we actually finding here? Six emerging talents from United States are called in “to do impossible things” or, as we can say, to destruct any formal possibility. Ross Iannatti’s wall-mounted works of stretched airbags to form a grid, recall Burri’s masterpiece from the 50’s “Sacco e Rosso” on display at Tate Modern.

 

By using material recovered from cars within a wreckage yard in his native Virginia, often covered in dirt, oil and sometimes blood, the artist translates tragedy into beauty, following a process that remind us Warhol’s “Death Series”. Imagine Sam Francis listening to Cocorosie’s melodies and you get the picture of Landon Metz whimsical color fields, where lonely abstract shapes float over the canvas in light pastel dyes. His bigger works are his best: gradience, transparency and opacity draw us into an a-gravitational dimension. Another highlight from the exhibition is Grear Patterson, a former The Still House member (as much as Dylan Lynch and his precarious sculptures included in the show too) who focuses on contemporary language replacements. His winking and frowning sculptural faces are symbol of nowadays dictionary that has given up words in favor of images. Urban aesthetics meets street art, but Patterson steps forward by referring to American classics such as Claes Oldenburg’s large replicas and Tuttle’s post-minimalism.

 

Little we know of Torey Thornton who, in fact, is the youngest of this young bunch (born in 1990). Despite that, his paintings challenge our perception. Are those abstract forms translating into fantasy figures or viceversa? Are they joyful or harmful? We can’t answer that. And in the impossibility of solving the doubts relies much of the curiosity that these pieces in goofy strokes and riotous colors arise in the viewer. The key is to look at them without any preconception. As much as Alice would do.

 

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Ross Iannatti, Dylan Lynch, Torey Thornton, Morgan-Richard Murphey, Grear Patterson, Landon Metz co-curated with Jonathan Ellis King. 22nd November – 18th January 2014 Rod Barton, London SE15.