Roberto Ekholm, Sally Kindberg and Dillwyn Smith: /ˈmeɪkʌp/

Roberto Ekholm, Sally Kindberg and Dillwyn Smith MOCA London

meɪkʌp at MOCA London features new work by London-based artists, Sally Kindberg, Dillwyn Smith and Roberto Ekholm, each of whom regards a material practice as a search for transcendent potential. Curated by Sally Kindberg.

The use of the phonetic spelling of the noun and verb of ‘makeup’ hints at the artists’ shared interest in structural, linguistic and diagrammatical processes which might move a form from a state of individual parts or conceptual ideas, through to something else or as yet entirely unknown. This new state could be a different composition or arrangement, an alchemical shift, a manifestation through to full-blown objecthood. Equally, the same word might refer to something in reverse of this; a critical breakdown of components, elements, a disintegration to the intangible, or simply getting to the guts of a matter, so to speak. The works in meɪkʌp each carefully trace the back and forth of cultural lineages and histories of meaning-making through the use of MOCA’s unique gallery space, to explore what it means to work out, break down and makeup.

Dillwyn Smith’s delicately layered work stems from the artist’s sustained focus on painting and colour, to load the materiality of diaphanous fabrics, stitched and joined across stretchers, with the gravity of reverence. As well as utilising traditional methods of saturating and glazing colour to manipulate light and line, Smith invokes spaces of liminal ritual and spirituality in his use of veils, robes, flags, doors and windows. In conversation with a history of geometric abstractionism and especially that of Mark Rothko, Smith’s recent body of work has been greatly influenced by place – namely a residency in Oman followed by another in Rothko’s birthplace in Latvia.

Roberto Ekholm’s sculptural works take fitness equipment as their starting point in looking at the construction of identity through repetition. Removed of context and stripped of their original function and purpose, these objects – medicine balls, yoga mats etc – retain a form and materiality to stand in for the presence of body. With a quiet meditative power and gentle homage to the work of Felix Gonzales-Torres, these pieces are seemingly at rest, yet hum with the energy brought to mind by the performative language of fitness instruction. Striking up a dialogue with every perkily inspirational reminder of ‘mind over matter’, or motivational bark to ‘finish what we’ve started’, Ekholm’s works consider the quest to be better, do more, to keep going, to perform higher, deeper, harder, heavier, faster. Beyond sports psychology and current marketing trends employed by the ‘wellness’ industries, Ekholm is concerned with tropes of faith and the possibility of transformation through healing.

Sally Kindberg’s surreal paintings fuse the fantastical and the banal, the substance of physics with the timing of the tragicomic. Like sets of bicep curls in strength training, an insistence on ‘completion to failure’ places painting as a special breed of practice of endurance and stamina. Having developed a finely-tuned trust in intuition and imagination, Kindberg paints interiors and objects to a robust formula, producing a depth of intimacy the artist’s (deceptively graphic and flat) style could never convey solely on its own. In deep excavation of contemporary culture’s sedimentary layers, Kindberg seeks to present newly-evolved meanings by painting abstractions of figurative imagery with pleasing resolution.

Private view: Sunday 13 Oct, 2 – 4 pm

Thursday 17 October:Artists conversation lead by Anna Ricciardi
Welcome drinks at 6.30 pm. The discussion starts at 7pm prompt..
Book ticket (Free):

Duration 03 October 2019 - 02 November 2019
Times Thursday and Friday: 2pm - 6pm Saturday: 12pm - 4pm
Cost Free
Venue MOCA London
Address 113 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4QY
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