REDSEA Gallery presents two concurrent solo exhibitions by American artists, James Austin Murray and Matt Devine. Although Murray, who primarily works in oil paint, and Devine, a self-taught metal sculptor, carry out distinct artistic practices, they are united in the precise control each wields over their medium. The presentation marks the first major exhibition in Asia for both artists.
JAMES AUSTIN MURRAY
New York-based James Austin Murray might at first emanate an impression of how limited his creations are to Ivory black paint and a canvas. This forced constraint on the other hand has allowed him to push the boundaries of his chosen materials. One of which is the idea of using light in his work. Considering light to be one of the materials he works with, Murray favours how the concept of light, both in a room and naturally, is reflected on black oil paint, highlighting his gestural and precise motions as a focus. To him, light’s natural rhythm is a starting point for a piece of work.
Constantly, Murray explores his liberal expression in his artwork. With a set of self-imposed rules that he constricts himself to, Murray broke away from the confines of right-angled canvases by customising canvases that have a broader dialogue with the shape of the canvas and the paint on its surface.
Metal sculptor and self-taught artist Matt Devine is known for his non-representational sculptures. Similar to Murray, Devine pushes boundaries with the medium he works with. He masterfully crafts metals into minimalistic forms that tend to make the heavy, hard, manmade material looks as light, soft and organic as possible. Devine’s artwork is seamless and evokes weightlessness, yet is made of heavy metals such as steel, aluminum, and bronze. Repetition of form, placement, and minimalistic patterns create a sense of balance and harmony in his work.
Devine's works bear paradoxical notions of contrasts. Nature and industry, light and shadow, chaos and order are themes found throughout Devine’s body of work. These contrasts, plus the relationships of patterns and boundaries, put forward captivating combinations of very different but thought-provoking themes.