Every Line Tells Its Own Story at Nathalie Halgand / Vienna

Athanasios Argianas, Cornelia Baltes, Clare Gasson, Rowena Hughes, Charlotte Klobassa, Yorgos Stamkopoulos

29 June – 5 August  2017

Galerie Nathalie Halgand
Stiegengasse 2/3 (Mezzanin)
1060 Vienna, Austria

 Images courtesy the artist and Galerie Nathalie Halgand

The group exhibition “Every line tells its own story”
brings together the works of six artists in an effort to illuminate the
use of line in contemporary art. Since the emergence of Modernism, art
has usually been created through reflection of itself – sometimes
polemically railing against its own past, but more often incorporating
its aspects into a new synthesis. This exhibition draws on this history
while also updating the representation of line in a global, digitalized
All of the artists display a critical awareness of Western art history, and include works that repeatedly allude to its canon. Charlotte Klobassa’s
oil painting of scribbling, for example, is a parody of modern
painting’s self-referentiality. A subversion of painting, the present
careless drawings, strongly reminiscent of the freely scribbled
paintings of Cy Twombly. Cornelia Baltes’s paintings continue
this investigation of the medium with technologically mediated paintings
comparable to iPad illustrations. The virtual work walks a fine line
between figuration and abstraction, conjuring scenes of daily life and
the unabated presence of new technologies. Rowena Hughes ’s works
follow a different tendency of art history with its Duchampian
assemblage. The series consists of panes of glass held together in
tension with elastic bands somewhere between images and sculptures. The
size of each work is derived from standard screen dimensions of laptops
and tablets and each collage is shown at a different angle to the wall
therefore creating different reflections and shadows.These started out
both as a literal play on the idea of loops of self-reference and from
thinking about screens becoming three dimensional objects. Looking at an
object (elastic band) in three states: in functional use holding things
together and the object flattened, squashed between glass becoming an
image and as a photographic image of the band – playing with the
relationship of image and object. Yorgos Stamkopoulos breaks free
of the canvas entirely in his 14 mm thick steel sculptures. Formally
similar to minimalism, Stamkopoulous identifies his sculptures as “lines
in space,” taken directly from the fluid, organic-like lines employed
during his distinctive erasure painting process. Although Athanasios Argianas’s “Song
Machine” works possess a similar minimalist aesthetic—unlike
Stamkopoulos’s sculptures, which tackle the formal qualities of painting
in three-dimensional space—Argianas’s interest lies in the limit
between material and immaterial structure i.e. information. The text
etched on a brass strip, for example is in itself a poem, a possible
song.  The visual artist and composer snakes a brass ribbon adorned with
fragmented text around slender steel supports. The viewer is invited to
revolve around the angular structures in order to read the text,
carrying out an active, performative role in addition to the customary
role as passive observer. Further bridging the gap between art and
space, Clare Gasson uses the gallery as her canvas and draws a
line in red lipstick from floor to ceiling dividing the gallery in half.
The piece is accompanied by Gasson’s sound installation, “A thousand
times – around 3000 years – April 2012—a sound studio performance,” in
which the artist repeatedly whispers a single textual line. The
performance artist seamlessly integrates art and space, linguistic line
and visual motif.