JONATHAN CHAPLINE: MATERIAL MEMORY
The Hole is proud to announce our first solo exhibition by Jonathan Chapline of painting and sculpture. A standout in our group show “Post Analog Painting II” last year, Chapline went on to have amazing works with us in art fairs around the world, so it is at long last we are happy to finally present a full exhibition of these fascinating works.
The digital aesthetics in the paintings had us eagerly add him to “Post Analog Painting II” and the cover of the catalogue. Like Avery Singer and many other young artists Chapline uses 3D programs to sketch out and render artworks in ways previously impossible. The style of the program lends itself to arranging slabs in space and then sorta pulling them out into thickness and volume; the light function allows you to shine digital light across the surfaces you have made to see mathematically how it would bend and reflect.
If Chapline just made digital prints they would be captivating; however, happily he synthesizes the sketches to carefully paint the image in acrylic and flashe on panel. Flashe is a vinyl-based paint invented in the 50s that has an opaque and velvety matte feel to the surface, like tempera. Each polygon of color is taped off and painted, with a cutting edge, neon underpainting and handmade imperfection he learned from apprenticing with painter Jules de Balincourt. His use of color and more pop sensibility you might see from his years apprenticing for the artist KAWS thereafter.
The digital sketching and carefully constructed application get you through the how-it-was-made bit; however, the content of the works and their compositional and color choices help us get to the why. All ten new paintings in the show are horizontal; architecturally-interesting domestic interiors, still lifes, bathers. And each feels like an HD panoramic-ratio movie still. Light in the paintings seems to be the protagonist as it wraps around the faceted forms and pools in colorful shadows, while the occasional knife or power drill or broken bottle adds a hint of threat.
The one sculpture in the show is a curious extract of the paintings: both figures and figurines appear in the paintings, and it is unclear whether this sculpture is a sculpture of a sculpture. It certainly looks to reference Henri Matisse, so perhaps it is a 3D rendering of a 2D collage work from the Post- Impressionist master. The title “Digital Artifact” suggests that this form is based on a 3D program misreading or messing up the translation of the original cutout, and adds a new layer to our interpretation of the exhibition; perhaps it is more in the slippages than the successes in his use of technology that the artist finds inspiration.