Hubris and a Whimper
Preview: Thursday, 12 April, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Exhibition: 13 April - 19 May 2018
Opening Times: Wed - Sat, 11:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Abject 2 Gallery, 2nd Floor, Bamburgh House
Abject Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition, Hubris and a Whimper by Joshua Raz.
In 2016 Joshua Raz was the winner of the prestigious London gallery HIX award judged by a panel including Webster and former S12 gallery director Fru Tholstrup, and will now exhibit a new body of work exclusively for Abject gallery, Newcastle. Raz’s work questions the authority of imagery and how well that imagery is able to articulate reality, with the fleeting-flood of imagery we see on a daily basis; Raz paintings highlight this gulf and identify how painting contains the knowledge that is produced by the hand.
Beneath veils of accessible narrative, beneath sleek interfaces and narrowed periphery, the complexities of true fact continue to bubble. Yet when substituted for a simplified version, fact becomes simulation, a malleable imposter lacking the integrity of the original. And so reality is experiencing a period of atrophy. In neglecting to question artificial narrative, artificial intelligence and one's own increasingly artificial existence, the significance of reality is withering.
Raz’s practice considers the dependability of the image, and by extension its ability to articulate reality. His paintings contemplate both the empirical and implicit qualities of an image, object or environment. This results in an oxymoronic surface, one that oscillates between cohesion and chaos.
Palm trees marry opposing ideals. The provenance of palms means that as an image they project of a quasi-utopian idyll in which one rests in the shadows of palms: the plant has become inextricably linked to the notion of paradise. Yet through decades of image appropriation, palms have become domesticated; their implicit values diluted. They have been reduced to an outline and now tread the boundary between the real and the artificial.
Each body of paintings is treated holistically; a painting’s individual concerns are subsumed by the overarching concerns of them as a conglomerate.