Billy Grant & Rich Porter
31 August to 08 October 2017
Image 1 of

Billy Grant has been involved with the art landscape of the last decade through several diverse collaborative projects; notably video and painted installations under the moniker Dearraindrop, and most recently the fashion parody George du George at Serpentine Gallery. For this latest incarnation, Billy has stepped out sans collaborators in order to create his own series of paintings. Grant’s trademark intuitive drawing style becomes mechanized via the markings of a paintbrush affixed to a cordless drill. Spiraling in and out of space, contrasting paint pigments create a hypnotic expression of volume. The intentionally simple subject matter serves as a vehicle for Grant’s hyper depiction of space. The loopy, unpredictable swirls result in a suspended moment of intimacy and mystery. In one example, the viewer is able to ponder the formal shape of a dolphin while experiencing the entrails of the painting itself; tubular lines building in and on top of one another to take on the silhouette of the sea creature. Another painting depicts a typical suburban home, more specifically the one Grant’s mother lives in, rendered in a helix of cool blues, greys, and purples, and set against a flat black background. Grant’s color palette pops with contrast yet remains soft. The cloudy textures produced by the motorized drill brush seem to continually appear and disappear with each new gaze. This work seems to slow down the process of perception itself, leaving the viewer’s eyes to endlessly follow the whirling loop of the paint strokes into oblivion.

Rich Porter hails from the Providence art scene of the early 2000's. Similar to Grant, Porter has extensive experience working collaboratively; from theatre and performance to sound and video projects. Porter's recent work has evolved from the studio take-over of a retired woodworker. Porter reinterprets frozen-in-time woodshop remnants by dissecting and rearranging what he finds. This re-contextualizing is an improvisational process for Porter. The weathering and chipping away at hard-edged materials explores the tension between manmade and organic growth. This process-driven practice allows the artist to untangle forms into a new landscape of wooden structures woven together with rope. Bright spectrums of encaustic paint accentuate the variety of forms; monumentalizing temporal gestures and capturing expressive acts of a fleeting moment. Porter's frequent visits to the eastern shoreline has also made a recent impact on his work. During a routine collection of rope and debris, the artist uncovered a mysterious plastic object. Unable to identify its original source, Porter began to recreate the form, and variations of it, by utilizing a 3D printer. This became the impetus for the multitudinous bright forms that are linked around Porter's sculptures. By melding plastic both found and reproduced, rope torn and new, painted white plaster, and wood chipped and cut; Porter interprets the shards of his surroundings into a new constructed reality. The amalgamations that emerge are a visual iteration of time. As the objects move through space in the varied materials, old and new become one. The culminating structures take on a nautical spirit as they seesaw along the horizon line of the gallery.