Caren Golden Fine Art is pleased to present TerraUnFirma, a three-person exhibition featuring the work of Gandalf Gavan, Nathan Redwood and Julie Rofman. Each of these artists distorts representational space, disorienting the viewer. This fracturing of spatial integrity also serves as a metaphor for a more general unease and anxiety about the contemporary socio-political climate.
Although generally anti-idealistic, these works are not without a sense of comedy, and ultimately a dash of optimism. Like the irrational but often humorous explorations undertaken by the Surrealists between the World Wars, Gavan, Redwood and Rofman parse and embellish the objective universe to emphasize the inherent subjectivity in representing a notion of “reality.” Nathan Redwood’s eccentric and vibrant paintings of churning construction sites and depopulated junk-strewn landscapes read as narratives of a post-industrial upheaval. These large-scale paintings, with their variety and dramatic spatial effects, belie Redwood’s economical brushwork and thin application of paint. The seemingly dense and opulent surfaces are actually the product of thin layers of transparent pigment and acrylic medium applied with a deft and calculated touch to tease improbable resolution and detail from his work. Julie Rofman’s paintings depict environments littered with loose architectural debris that seem to have regenerated from the ash heap into a living network of reanimated objects. The ground is rarely visible in her post-apocalyptic metropolises. Instead, endless vistas of cast-off material spread through dense skies. Unlike his two-dimensional counterparts, Gandalf Gavan’s distortion of space is literal as well as symbolic. Using a warped mirror to bend and stretch an accompanying installation of scattered objects, Gavan pulls the viewer, and the surrounding gallery space, into the content of the work. The viewer thus becomes an active participant in the installation. The mirror’s abstract reflection also functions as a landscape painting in its own right, aligning Gavan’s with the canvases of Redwood and Rofman. Each of these three artists’ graceful negotiation of the uncertain region between concrete and abstract space keeps the viewer reconsidering his position within the cultural landscape.