Signifiance At Coleman Project Space

Michael Holland (25 May, 2022)

Addressing the intimate relations between human subjectivity and language

55674Gunther Herbst 'Good Hope' (2022), acrylic on plywood, 45 x 60 cm

Coleman Project Space will become the temporary London home of ‘Signifiance: Painting Beyond Borders’, curated by John Bunker and Michael Stubbs.

This group exhibition of diverse approaches in British painting was originally conceived for The Cornerstone Gallery, Liverpool Hope University. It reflects the myriad ways artists are currently pushing at and exploring the boundaries between old and new media; our Modernist understanding of painting as a practice and the contemporary critical discourse that attempts to define it, or break it down.

Feminist philosopher Julia Kristeva coined the term ‘Signifiance’ in order to address the intimate relations between human subjectivity and language. But might the melding of the terms ‘signification’ and ‘defiance’ be co-opted to explore a new kind of agency for the medium within our technologically expanded, 21st Century image culture ?The contemporary validity of painting, regularly contested whenever a new visual medium or platform comes into focus, is asserted here through the adoption of highly specific visual devices. Compositional divisions, overlapped motifs, optical moments of slippage or elision foreground a hybridisation of painterly languages across the interpretive spectrum.

All here appear mindful of the contextual significance of the visual and conceptual symbology and strategies at their disposal. Through their treatment of such we are asked to consider how the physical properties of the picture plane, as an historically loaded – constructed or deconstructed – space might be used to communicate the changing state of how we receive and digest visual information.

While some artists use paint to evoke the sense of an analogue, physical disruption, others cast indexical marks or evidence of the body’s performative actions against digital representations. This show asks us to re-imagine the painted surface as a place of ‘Signifiance’ – a site of associatively unstable signifying chains that are relentlessly reconfigured and reconstructed with new, and defiant formulations.

John Bunker, John Chilver, Phil Frankland, Gunther Herbst, Peter Lamb,
Charley Peters, Simon Pike, Jessica Power, Michael Stubbs, Mark Wright.

Dates:        June 11 – July 10

Times:        Fri Sat Sun 12 – 6 pm  Preview:    11 June 12 – 8 pm

Coleman Project Space, 94 Webster Road, Bermondsey, SE16 4D

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