RCA show 2018

Palin, Tom (2018) RCA show 2018. [Show/Exhibition]

Abstract

Show 2018 presented the work of the RCA’s art and design graduates from MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD programmes. For me, this marked the end of my PhD in Painting. I curated an exhibition of paintings in the Stevens Building, Kensington, which incorporated a large number of paintings from across a period of several years. During my time as a student here I exhibited my work often (within and outside of research projects), and was able to test a range of curatorial and hanging solutions in various spaces. A key consideration for some time has been that of configuration, and of understanding the relationship between the picture and object of painting. For this exhibition I displayed numerous reconfigurations of small oil paintings on wood, utilising the width and height of the gallery space, and its architectural features, such as ledges and windows. Some were groupings of diptychs, where panels were already fixed in tandem. I also showed two larger works on aluminium; works that I had made recently in order to explore the possibilities of surface and edge in respect of the aforementioned concerns. In grouping the paintings in such a manner I hoped to draw attention to formal, narrative, material and surface concerns that have preoccupied me during and prior to the course of study—in my thesis I reconsidered notion of medium specificity within formalist and phenomenological frameworks. Moreover, in negating the singularity of discrete units of painting in favour of forms of collective and involved arrangements, I risked the unity of aesthetic separation. However, such involvement – of painting with painting – offered an opportunity to engender, if only temporarily, a formed dissolution of painting’s distance. In staging this exhibition I was assisted by Paul Kelly.

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