PAST

TOM HACKNEY

17 May 2012 - 16 June 2012

EYE TO THE GROUND

This thoughtful and beautiful exhibition presents a new body of work by Tom Hackney plus an accompanying text by Ben Eastham. EYE TO THE GROUND represents the artist’s first solo show for several years, in which time his practice has developed to reflect a notable change in his working approach.

These works are about thinking – about thinking and painting. The struggle comes at the beginning when he’s searching for a way in to make the paintings. There is a degree of remoteness and restraint in his tense process which means he is slightly at arms length with the work. He sets himself parameters within which the paintings generate themselves.

He has made a series of Chess Paintings whose geometrical compositions are taken from the archives of Duchamp’s chess games. Using these records, the games are mapped out by layering gesso in a grid pattern, forming a subtle textural relief on a linen or canvas surface so that he reading can be both vertical and horizontal at once through the thickness of paint on the different squares.

But the paintings aren’t just about touch or the simplicity of paint on a support. Even though he is using the language of traditional painting in his use of materials, he is loathe to use paint out of tubes and some of his other works are made by using transparent pva in a gestural way with a brush and then spraying the colour on. His methodology is like a dance – one minute in an intimate embrace and the next using a wand to magic paint onto a surface. He brings a matrix of subtle understandings on so many levels to his work.

Tom Hackney talks about his paintings as objects. He wants all his decisions to be visible and revealed by the way that they are constructed. Even previously when he was making work that was image loaded, Tom saw his work as ‘things’. The looking at them as objects , ‘flips’ the perception and the authorship of them becomes removed, objective. His methods make reference to Modernist Structuralism but in a twenty first century context. The results are complex, fresh and innovative and his work has a really intriguing beauty.

Tom Hackney graduated with an MFA from Goldsmiths in 2008. He won the BOC Emerging Artist Award in 2003.

Opening Wednesday - Saturday 12:00 - 18:00