the way you’d know spring was coming was that around the end of march you’d hear rolls of thunder or cannonades that would mean the ice was breaking on the river you’d say gee it must be spring the
ice is breaking on the river and it was like a series of deep distant drum rolls brrrrrrrrrrmbrrrrrrrrrrrm and you didn’t feel much better about it because the sky was still gray and cold and the trees were still bare
in fact you felt better in January because the snow seemed to keep you warm” 1
The way David Antin described the first signs of the arrival of Spring in the state of New York in his talk poem Spring, love, noise and all is quite far from what is commonly expected. His description of the ice breaking into the river, cooling the water and giving it a terrible color somehow encapsulates what the distance between expectations and experience is about; A physical banal platitude that turns out to be very important, is still hard to apprehend.
David Antin’s talk poems were improvisatory talk performances in which he addressed to a live audience simple thoughts about the weather, a train ride or a friendship. The digressions shaped his poems, creating a clever mixture between expectations, spontaneous thoughts and the intervention of the immediate environment (experience). This poetical attitude of letting things happen gives to Antin’s work a very special tone. There are exactly four of them is an exhibition that marks the first anniversary of the gallery, exploring, through the work of four significant artists, the possibility of translating this poetic sensibility into the exhibition space.
In the work of Nagore Amenabarro three cylindric painted sculptures are displayed on a rubber cloth. The combination of the raw aspect of the building material and a careful approach to painting create a work
in which; the variety of gestures such as collecting and assembling opens the artist to a space dedicated to experimentation within the field of painting. Her work, when not painting, is often shown on a plan, materialized by a piece of paper, a table or a carpet. This allows the artist to bring her work into the material space through the prism of the grid, the mathematical genesis of such plans.
Kate Newby’s installations completely redefines the inside and the outside of the exhibition space. The glass work she presents at the entrance of the gallery invites the viewer to experience the space in front of the window as a threshold, a space in between the inside and the outside. The material, transparent glass, reinforces this idea. The only opaque reference on which the eye can rest is the colored hanging rope that gives a subtle vibration to the whole space. Kate Newby describes her approach to the work when she says “In thinking about my work and thinking about making my work, I often circle around nature and the weather and wildlife, although most often I end up landing on smaller things or where people have been.”
Which brings us to the third voice in the space, Oscar Tuazon “I hope that the effect of my work is mostly physical. That’s what I like—walking through something, having an experience of the weight of things, or an experience of balance.” The work of Oscar Tuazon shapes its own environment and invites the viewer to engage a physical relationship with the materiality of the work and the space that receives the work. The artist creates such a confrontation by overworking materials, creating sculptures and installations that almost crack or even collapse. The physical limits of the wood, concrete, glass, steel, etc. allows the artist to make other decisions, to take the work to other places.
Finally, Jessica Warboys’ Sea Painting creates an opening, a vista within the gallery space. In Sea Paintings the process of making is embedded in the surface of the canvas, Warboys likens them to a print where gesture and location are captured. The Sea Painting canvas has been immersed in the sea, once soaked the canvas is dragged to the shoreline where, mineral pigments are scattered allowing for the waves, wind, sand and folds to create the motif. Warboys’ work is articulated through ritual, performance and poetry which directs and becomes part of the artistic process itself. This can also be seen in her silkscreen prints which are images made from the distillation of words taken from a longer poem by the artist.
Here at Cibrián the work of these four artists is installed in order to create a space in which unique environments can coexist and converse between each other and with the audience. A space that is somehow similar to a David Antin stage, wide open to a reality that might corrupt what one could expect. “ you know how it will come and when it will come because in your expectations it always comes in a neat order the way seasons do because there are exactly four of them.” 2
1, 2 (David Antin, Spring love noise and all, in What it means to be avant-garde, ED. New Directions, 1993)
Oscar Tuazon, I owe no one (two hunters)
Jessica Warboys, BLOOD MOON
Jessica Warboys, PLANTS TALK SNAKE
Jessica Warboys, PLANTS TALK
Jessica Warboys, Sea Painting, Dunwich, September 2014