"A Three-Part Survey Of Dynamic Colour Use"

The Future Tense is pleased to present SPECTRA I, the first of a three-part survey of artists for whom dynamic colour relationships form a central pillar of their practice.

From mediaeval stained glass to Pop Art via Fauvism, bold use of colour has been explored continuously throughout art history. Perhaps the greatest master of colour theory, Paul Klee wrote on the subject extensively and was quoted as saying, ‘Colour is the place where our brain and the universe meet.’

In a contemporary art world endlessly fascinated with concepts of minimalism and fragility, SPECTRA I explores the artists, mediums and substrates boldly defining the colourful zeitgeist.

Hosted at the Londonewcastle Project Space and curated by The Future Tense, SPECTRA I will be on view from November 24 through December 18 2011, and will feature a wide range of mediums including painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, animation and digital art from a vital international roster of 7 artists:

Lee Baker’s art practice explores the dichotomy between Japan’s fragile, intricate cultural aesthetic and the relentless forces of urbanisation that increasingly mark its landscape. With influences ranging from the futuristic anime of Makoto Shinkai to the modernist cityscapes of Charlie Sheeler, Baker’s meticulous paintings present stark visions of the indomitable meta-city against the indiscriminate forces of nature. As well as new paintings, SPECTRA I will see Baker create a site-specific installation.

Adam Ball appears in SPECTRA I fresh from exhibiting at the highly prestigious House of the Nobleman. His work reflects the energy and life of an ephemeral world, echoing the hidden order of nature. The diverse subject matter of his paintings and intricate hand-cut paper works – from Tropical rainforests to layered microbiological imagery – are further abstracted through seemingly counter-intuitive use of light and colour, lending an unexpected aura of kitsch, euphoria and energy.

Chuck Elliott’s practice is concerned with a fluid investigation of colour, movement and light. Entirely computer generated, these organic, free-form shapes are cropped, recoloured and enhanced as if editing in a camera view. Hovering between printmaking and photography, Chuck is endeavoring to push back the boundaries of traditional printmaking, with direct digitised drawing and a fluid use of dynamic colour spaces and captured light. Chuck will debut a series of innovative new laser-cut Diasec works at SPECTRA I.

Katrin Fridriks fuses the natural energies of her native Iceland with references to contemporary pop art, architecture and Japanese calligraphy to create a uniquely expressive visual language. Her vivid abstract landscapes envelop space, shape and time, emphasized by a tireless exploration of matter and technique. Fridriks will present a number of new paintings at SPECTRA I, including a significant site-specific installation.

Haroshi is a self-taught Japanese artist, currently based in Tokyo. He creates full-scale, three-dimensional wooden sculptures using intricately layered and carved recycled skateboard decks. His approach to sculpture combines the influence of the time-honoured traditional methods of his homeland with the spirit of innovation inherent in its contemporary culture. SPECTRA I marks the UK debut of Haroshi.

James Marshall aka ‘Dalek’ built an international reputation as a street artist before graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995. Marshall began exhibiting his work across the US before honing his skills as an assistant to celebrated ‘Superflat’ artist, Takashi Murakami. Since dropping the Dalek moniker in 2007, his precise and complex geometric paintings and prints have continuously pushed the boundaries of abstraction and colour combination. The Future Tense will publish a limited edition James Marshall gravure etching to mark the launch of SPECTRA I, printed in collaboration with Thumbprint Editions.

Jen Stark’s practice is based on the concepts of replication and infinity, her artwork echoing patterns and intelligent designs found in nature and the theories of colour, math and science. The Miami-based artist’s creations incorporate a variety of materials, which produce optically hypnotic effects not unlike traditional mandalas and sacred objects. SPECTRA I marks the UK debut of Jen Stark, who appears courtesy of Cooper Cole Gallery.

SPECTRA I is supported by Londonewcastle, Courvoisier and Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

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