Showcasing four artists who hail from four different countries; Belgium, The Netherlands, The United States, and France, Backslash Gallery has put together a cohesive show of artists working in similar veins but from different parts of the globe. These artists use codes and forms centring on the theme of construction and deconstruction. Populating the gallery with their favorite media, the artists create a journey where small-scale works alternate with monumental installations.
Belgian artist Xavier Theunis adopts a humor-tinged approach to the great movements in the history of art, design and architecture. His decorative obsession magnifies a perfect mastery of artistic precision, as demonstrated in his monumental collages where plane highlights volume. The artist’s play of abstract constructions, witness to his highly skilled use of colour, produces compositions as unsettling as they are enigmatic.
Dutch artist Boris Tellegen’s works on wood and paper express his interest in environmental issues. He uses engineering and the many artistic possibilities it offers in his monumental assemblages, where the aesthetic approach marries harmoniously with notions of construction and the purpose of his explorations. Each piece is put together and modelled meticulously, leaving no room for the random in the methodology favoured by this architect of chaos.
A process of deconstruction then reconstruction lies at the heart of the work produced by American artist Michael Zelehoski. Influenced by a number of historical artistic movements, particularly Analytic Cubism, the artist takes apart objects found in the street, cuts them up, following clearly defined rules, and reinvests them with a sense of the three-dimensional using a totally flat composition system. After this initial process of dismantling and artistic transformation, the object comes back to life, taking on a new and ingenious perspective while retaining the work’s planar form and causing viewers to question what they are seeing.
French artist Rero’s work, including the famous crossed out letters scattered around public spaces – such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris last spring – lies on the dividing line between outside and inside. The artist’s exhibitions inevitably create a striking setting wherein the works take part in a reconstruction of the urban wastelands, particularly abandoned sites, that he draws on for unending inspiration in his quest for artistic experimentation.
Appropriately titled (de)constructions, this show will be up until the end of October. The works very much deserve a proper viewing as their materiality gains from lived experience and the interaction of light with each form. Regardless of whether you enjoy work based around abstraction, process, or material; this exhibition has something for every viewer and should not go unseen.