Heavier than Light: These Colours I have Shored Against My Ruins
A two person show by Keith Bowler and Peter Suchin
Roland Barthes described colour as a “field…freed of both the Law…and Nature”, also calling it “A kind of bliss”.* In this complex designation colour’s primary feature is its endless transgression of all fixed forms, its playful rejection of every allusive demand. For Barthes, colour is aristocratic, sovereign, forcefully refusing all values other than its own.
Light and colour are more than merely contingent attributes of the work of Keith Bowler and Peter Suchin. Bowler’s sculptures critically juxtapose the rigour of reconfigured found metal with cold cathode lights, framing the muted colours they emit. In turn these (sometimes mirrored) metal envelopes shimmer and are themselves enframed. With other smaller, wooden constructions Bowler has focused attention more directly on the stream, pulse or band of light at the centre of each work, but in either sculptural strategy presented here geometry, solidity, and abstruse functionality consistently enter into dialogue with light.
For Suchin, colour frequently carries the day. It might easily be regarded as the raison d’etre of his paintings, were they not so carefully and laboriously composed. Leaking and spilling out, colour nudges these pseudo-classical compositions into a conspicuously unstable state. Simultaneously appearing resolved and yet a jumble of amorphous forms, Suchin’s paintings operate between order and disorder, deliberation and chance. They share with Bowler’s sculptures a sense of the optical illusion or visual game. In Suchin’s “Pocket Paintings”, a number of which are displayed at One Paved Court, miniaturisation and portability suggest a yet more tangible aspect of engagement and play.
*RB, Roland Barthes, 1977, p. 143; RB, The Responsibility of Forms, 1986, p. 166.
Keith Bowler is an artist and curator based in London. Recent exhibitions include Gold aus dem Depot 7 up (Grölle:Pass Projects, Wuppertal Germany 2017), Spot Light (Grölle:Pass Projects, Wuppertal Germany 2016), Buffet d’art (Hestercombe House, Somerset 2017, Meinblau gallery, Berlin 2016, Ambika P3, London 2016 and), Seven Turns: Meditations on a Coffee Mill (& Model, Leeds 2016) Large scale Light installations include Ghost Bridge (London 2008), Zwanzig Ellen (Wuppertal 2005) and FlickerFixer (Kentish Town Lock, London 2000, 2001)
Peter Suchin is an artist, critic, and curator. His solo exhibitions include A Critical Contagion in the Quiet of the Night (& Model, Leeds, 2014), The Grey Planets (HICA, Loch Ruthven, 2011), and Compendiums and Palimpsests (T1+2 Artspace, London, 2013). Group exhibitions include A bird in the head (Daniel Arnaud, London, 2017), The Horizontal Without, the Horizontal Within (Lubomirov/Angus Hughes, London, 2017 (co-curator)), and Seven Turns: Meditations on a Coffee Mill (& Model, Leeds, 2016 (co-curator)). Suchin’s writings have appeared in Art Monthly, Art Press, Contemporary, Frieze, The Guardian, Mute, Turps Banana, Variant and many other publications. His visual work is discussed in Paul Crowther’s The Phenomenology of Modern Art, Continuum, 2012