SOFT/TENSE: Alice Browne & Nigel Massey
Open: 23rd - 29th March
Private View: 27th March, 6.30 - 8.30pm
“A boundary is not that at which something stops but, as the Greeks recognised, is that from which something begins its presencing."
- Martin Heidegger
SOFT/TENSE brings together two artists engaged in a restless interrogation of their chosen idiom. This is not to say their enquiry is suffused with doubt, rather that it is driven by a desire to test all dynamic possibilities, recording along the way the finest of balances and honouring the most delicate propositions. Consistent with this approach is a tacit acknowledgement of the potential to reveal more within their work through the exacting choreography of the pairing - a willingness to let their curiosity get the better of them, to foster a conversation beyond the dialogue they have with themselves.
Initially Alice Browne’s language is one of abstraction, yet it is not cool and detached. Her starting point is the defined space of the paper or canvas which is then populated with “interfering objects” that jostle to find their place, and in doing so set up a rich repertoire of relationships between form, space and colour. There is a compellingly casual blending of harmony and tension underpinned with a disarming wit.
Describing himself as an “inter-disciplinarian” Nigel Massey deploys a range of production techniques within his sculptures, which, whilst acknowledging their inevitable formal concerns, nevertheless serve to emphasise the “shadows between processes”. Massey sidesteps the slickness of high production-value manufacture in favour of the potentiality of the moment. Massey lucidly undermines sculpture’s stentorian finality, offering instead the intrigue of an implied drama, a drama that has “just finished, or is still in rehearsal”.
Alice Browne will gain her MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 2016. Recent solo shows include Prosjektrom Normanns, Stavanger (2014); Limoncello, London; annarumma, Naples (both 2013); The China Shop, Oxford; Supercollider, Blackpool (both 2012). Recent group shows include Francesca Minini, Milan; Attic, Nottingham; OVADA, Oxford (all 2014); Fjord, Philadelphia; Interno 4, Bologna; Matthews Yard, Croydon (all 2013).
Nigel Massey is a graduate of the Royal Academy Schools. Selected exhibitions include: FABRIC, Colyer Bristow, London (2014); A5, Art Athina, Athens (2014); ANTHOLOGY, Charlie Smith Gallery, London (2013); CREEKSIDE OPEN, APT Gallery, London (2013); END OF TERRACE HEROICS (Solo show), Public House Projects, London (2013). Prizes include RA Schools Turner Gold Medal, Crash Open winner (Charlie Dutton Gallery) and Space Studio Award. Massey has a forthcoming solo exhibition at LIMBO ARTS, Margate in May 2015.