Full Circle: Stanley Casselman
Gazelli Art House is delighted to present Full Circle, the first solo exhibition by New York based artist Stanley Casselman to be held in the UK.
Featuring a new series of paintings titled Untitled Presence, this body of work returns to the essence of the artist’s practice and motivations. Whilst progressing his interest in art-making processes, a mantra of ‘innovate or die’ has led him down paths only the most curious creatives could ever uncover, and he treads new ground as he dives yet deeper into the depths of the visual unknown.
Making a departure from his Inhaling Richter series and drawing inspiration from earlier works, Casselman constructs innovative abstract compositions in fresh hues, pushing his materials and tools to the limit. Explaining what drives this practice, the artist contextualises his work within that of Art History:
"The aim with each and every painting or how I judge the outcome is best explained by recounting the experience I had upon first seeing Jackson Pollock’s “One, Number 31” at MoMA (1985). I’d studied Pollock in college, but I’d never seen one in the flesh. I was drawn to the freedom in the way Pollock dripped, poured and spattered paint, but what happened that day at MoMA truly changed the course of my life. I froze in my tracks upon encountering the piece. Time and awareness of the space around me vanished, I became emotionally free, floating in and out of the work. Thus, it’s this experience that I’m trying to regenerate and the threshold or bar that I judge my work by."
Through building his own ‘canvases’ back at the start of his career in 1984, the artist learnt a technical process that he now deploys for aesthetic qualities, as stretching polyester screens by hand feature throughout the series. Further textural layers are achieved through Casselman’s primary use of acrylic, as he delights in exploring the divergent materiality of paint on different surfaces, such as canvas and polyester.
The box-beam frame is a more recent revelation for the artist. Rather than discarding the structural hardware from the final product, it features prominently in this new series (Untitled Presence 1-8 and Untitled Presence 1-14). The cool, clean metal framework is raw, industrial and a bit foreboding, providing a balanced contrast to the delicacy of the porous polyester screens. Another dimension is added to several works via a moiré effect*— generated by suspending a second screen behind the painted one. The relationship between viewer and object is further manipulated by the placement of vinyl elements on the wall behind the screens, effecting a change in composition with every shift of the viewer’s perspective (Untitled Presence 1-8, Untitled Presence 1-14 and Untitled Presence 1-17). The result is kinetic, causing the artwork to leap to life with each step. The multilayered texture is mirrored in the paint’s en verso application, being pushed through the holes of the screen, bonding to the surface.
As in previous series', the works comprising Untitled Presence are titled with numerals that are categorically split to represent stylistic shifts through the series. Swirling colours forming simple shapes take centre stage in some Untitled Presence 1 works, while in others abstract splatters undulate freely in perfect composition. Untitled Presence 2's expands upon the presence of recognisable, geometric composition, heightening the use of lines and borders within the interplay of the composition. Bold, bright patterns and stripes dominate Untitled Presence 3’s, while parallel vertical lines are prominent in Untitled Presence 4’s.