Finding the edge in painting

Between me and the medium tradition leaves only a definition  (3), 2019, acrylic and oil on steel armature. 20x10x10cm

Between me and the medium tradition leaves only a definition (3), 2019, acrylic and oil on steel armature. 20x10x10cm

Joel Gailer

Throughout my art life I’ve had an ideological opposition to painting. This is because when I first studied art, the old genre hierarchies still existed and painting, as always, was at the apex. For me, this was an authority that needed to be resisted, because the painting tradition offered very few new ideas and seemed to be the antithesis of progression. After 20 years of resisting painting, I began painting again.

Through an intuitive process of making and a research driven investigation into the emergence of Abstraction, I kept asking myself, what in the medium of painting offers an artist a relatively fertile arena to express themselves? The edge emerged as a site, for me, to explore a small facet of painting. While many have come before me, the edge represents a vanguard for self-expression in the most dominant mode of artistic practice. So I reduced my painting method to the edge of the canvas and sometimes the paint came off it! Freeing the paint completely from the canvas. The material became the meaning.

When I consider a medium I try to comprehend its material and conceptual meaning. Marshal McLuhan said, “the medium is the message”, this statement, in my opinion, is still an apt cipher to understand the affect new and old media is capable of conveying.

What is an edge? Is it a border? Is it a precipice? Is it an abyss? Is it a division between one reality and another?

In simplicity I find the most complex nuance and the edge, for me, represents a significant arena to explore difficult metaphors and light-hearted analogies.

26TH JUNE - 7TH JULY

OPENING 26TH JUNE, 6PM