2003 Acrylic on canvas
This is part of a series using explanation marks as painterly devices in Alex’s exploration and expansion of a narrative of line. These explanation marks dominate like islands in a sea of white.
To the left, red gestural marks on matte black act as an organic foil and prelude to prepare the eye. The white, horizontal exclamation mark directs the narration. This opening, visual sequence reminds of night, sea voyages of heightened anticipation, where the eye strains for sense in the shards of moonlight.
Despite the narrative that one would like to impose, it is a story about marks. Thousands of exclamation marks ghost the surface. They form horizontal movement through the black ground and vertical movement through the white ground, in durational currents. Unpainted canvas intersects both movements and leaches a transition, from prelude, to the main event.
At first glance the predominant plane looks like a static composition of black on white. It is not!
As we visually move across these custom designed, exclamation marks we realise an animation in the mind. The dots are off centre. This offset effect disrupts our preconceptions and moves the marks to an expectant space between arrival and destination.
This is a tightly controlled and thoughtful work of interesting and endless complications.
A poem attends to this work.
The history of anchors; the poetry of departures
An island an its shadow
a line of thought;
The wind blew along,
along a longer time
re appraising and
as fixes do, definitions of a journey.
And to you and I
(the island and its shadow,
with the colour of midnight water whispering behind us)
“Between the point of arrival-and-departure
and the action of the sames,
there exists an exquisite poetry of expectation,
punctuated with charged space,
into which gestures, half-made and un-made
and occasionally complete,
settle silently like silt,
until the coast is clear again."