“Charles Avery’s latest exhibition sees him foreground the logical and mathematical principles undergirding the nameless fictional Island that has been the focus of his work for almost two decades. In place of the artist’s customary presentations of drawings and objects teeming with pictorial and narrative detail, this show has an atmosphere of brooding minimalism, describing a landscape – and a mental space – in which motifs and concepts are isolated, the better to be (re-)examined. In four new paintings, we see the androgynous Hunter – a key figure in Avery’s epic Islanders project since its inception – wander through bleak, tundra-like terrain, shoulders hunched, head bowed, at the mercy of the fluctuating weather systems that bear down upon him. Far from home, and with his gun pointed impotently at the ground, we might think of him as an archetype of hopeful, hopeless pursuit, and as an emblem of our own clumsy chasings after love and truth.
If Avery’s paintings are concerned with the subjective realm of fiction, then his sculptures inhabit more objective terrain. Occupying the volume of the gallery, Untitled (Square Circle) (2021) is a large bronze form that loops above and below the paintings’ horizon line like a three-dimensional sinewave (a mathematical curve defined in terms of the sine trigonometric function, which occurs in nature in light- and sound-waves), and when viewed in plan describes a perfect rectangle of the proportions 2:1.
Avery’s purposefully lopsided exhibition title, The Hunter returns / goes away from operates as an index of the Hunter’s ambiguous situation. While the word ‘returns’ implies an intention and a planned destination, maybe even a triumphant homecoming – a Hollywood ending – the term ‘goes away from’ does not. Rather, all it communicates is the fact of the Hunter’s being, and his indeterminate roaming through a space where the rules of time and meaning do not obtain.” – Tom Morton, 2022
Charles Avery (1973 in Oban, VK) woont en werkt in Londen en op het Schotse eiland Mull (VK). In 2004 begon Charles Avery aan wat een levenslang project zal worden, getiteld “The Islanders”. Door middel van tekeningen, teksten en objecten beschrijft Avery de bewoners, architectuur, filosofieën, gewoontes en eigenaardigheden van een denkbeeldig landschap.
Dit jaar zal zijn werk te zien zijn in “Planet B. Climate Change and the New Sublime”, gecureerd door Nicolas Bourriaud, Palazzo Bollani, Venetië, (IT); Busan Biënnale 22, Busan (KR) en “Paradys”, samengesteld door Hans den Hartog Jager, voor Arcadia de Triënnale van Friesland in Oranjewoud (NL).