GALLERY + PROJECT ROOM Two for One 2
Curated by Jess MacNeil Artists Chrissis Ianssen, Ron Adams, Fiona Lowry, Paul Donald, Mimi Tong, Julie Fragar, James Burke, Gemma Smith, Phil Williams, Paul Wrigley
The widespread occurrence of collaboration in the contemporary artistic environment has left the practice of painting largely untouched. Painting remains most commonly an intensely solitary activity; the painter operates in a domain where individual choice is paramount and, within the confines of the chosen medium, restrictions are few and self-imposed. Collaboration shifts artistic identity from individual to composite subjectivity, bringing a release from any idea of autonomous authorial responsibility, demanding a communicative and responsive solution.
The "Two for One" project invites a group of painters to temporarily open up their practice for direct engagement with other artists at the point of production. Working in pairs, each creative partnership produces a work according to their agreed conditions, in a deliberate dislocation of habitual approaches. The artists involved have diverse practices and the partnerships entered into are not always obvious or easy. Colliding sensibilities, both common and contesting, are negotiated and the work thus produced tells as much about different approaches to collaborative communication as it does about each artist's practice.
"Two for One" began in 2003 as a one-off experimental project and exhibition. The experience and the works thus produced, however, proved to be so stimulating that I decided to extend the project. "Two for One, Two" involves many of the painters in the original show and adds a few more to the mix: eleven in total. Combinations of pairs have been altered one for those who participated last year, and again the intention is to achieve a mixture of contrast and commonality. "Two for One, Two" continues the rich dialogue of the first show, presenting a series of dynamic, considered and unusual paintings.