Mark Hagen A Parliament of Some Things at Almine Rech Gallery, London
13 October 2014 - 08 November 2014
Almine Rech Gallery London is pleased to present Los Angeles-based artist Mark Hagen’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and the artist’s first solo show in the United Kingdom. Entitled A Parliament of Some Things, the exhibition comprises entirely new paintings and sculptures.
Mark Hagen’s paintings are made by pushing black and white paint through lengths of rough burlap onto glass planes supporting sheets of wrinkled wrapping plastic, lengths of packing tape, geometric configurations of cut tile, etc. Once the paint dries, the fabric is pulled from this textured surface, taking its negative imprint on what will be its facing side. This is only a cursory overview of the process, but no matter how assiduously it is explained, it will remain baffling, and this is because these works, which we see frontally as all paintings are seen, were literally composed backwards. The artist can only predict the result to an extent—although increasingly more so over time—and this element of uncertainty is carried over to the beholder. From the point of reception, every visual effect is likewise subject to reversal, as if drawn through the hard shell of the skull, the moist folds of the brain, the charged chute of the optical nerve. To relate to vision in this embodied way is implicitly to divorce it from the phenomenal world. In other words, that which is blind in Hagen’s process is also blinding, although it has everything to do with how we actually see, with how much or little, based on our physical and mental predisposition.