For immediate release
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by the Australian-born, London-based artist David Noonan. This is his second exhibition with the gallery. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 18, from 6:00 to 9:00pm.
Noonan utilizes a personal archive of found images to create hand-screened, collaged works on linen that straddle the lines between photography and history, ritual and performance, and memory and fiction. Depicting costumed figures set against richly patterned backgrounds, these works borrow techniques not only from painting, but also from film, theatre, literature, and sculpture. By relying upon intuition, chance, and free association, Noonan composes these large-scale narrative tableaux so that their subjects seem to be caught between moments of introspection and exhibitionism, their implied theatricality alluding to both the artifice and creative potential of performance.
The artist has long been interested in using patterned textiles as a graphic counterpoint to the figure. In this new body of work, the figures emerge from and retreat into images of Japanese Boro textiles that echo the restrained and simplified sensibility of modernist painting. The materiality of these Boro textiles, fashioned from stitched-together rags of previously dyed and bleached fabric, dissolves into the artist’s aesthetic and is used to create a range of painterly and textural effects.
Noonan’s works function as collage on a dense array of levels: each is a combination of materials, images, and narratives that creates a historical mood which paradoxically cannot be attributed to any particular moment in history. This is due, in part, to the works’ sculptural physicality, in which the tooth and hue of the linen bears directly on the viewer’s experience of the images. Different grades of material are joined together so that their textural qualities play crucial roles in the arrangement of the total composition. In cinematic terms, the work can be described as a kind of montage, with shifts between one image or piece of linen and another rendered with varying degrees of subtlety or violence.
While the digital age has produced a seemingly infinite proliferation of images whose sources and subjects are instantly recognizable but whose surfaces have been altered, compromised, and scrubbed, Noonan’s images take materiality as one of their central subjects. Because they are hand-screened onto linen in a manner that highlights their physical presence, the work forges an uncanny connection between techniques of mechanical reproduction and time-honored, even ancient, ideas of craft.
David Noonan has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Palais De Tokyo, Paris; Chisenhale Gallery, London; and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. His work has been featured in major group exhibitions, including THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE Songs of Survival: the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia; Altermodern, Tate Triennial at Tate Britain, London, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud; Scene Grammar, Parra & Romero in collaboration with Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, Madrid; Beg, Borrow and Steal, The Rubell Family Collection, Miami; the Busan Biennale, Busan, Korea; and The Rings of Saturn, Tate Modern, London. In 2010-2011 he will be included in British Art Show 7, which will travel to four venues in the United Kingdom, including the Hayward Gallery in London.
For further information please contact Mike Homer at Mike@davidkordanskygallery.com.