Tauba Auerbach "Tetrachromat" @ Bergen Kunsthall, NorwayJuxtapoz // Friday, 16 Dec 2011
If you have never seen one of Tauba Auerbach's texture paintings in person, we suggest finding a local institution that houses Auerbach's work (SFMoMA for example) to check them out. Currently, Auerbach has texture paintings and works that "interweaves discordant positions such as disorder and order, readability and abstraction, permeability and solidity" on display in Bergen, Norway.
The exhibition, Tetrachromat, plays on the notion of ‘tetrachromatic’ vision. People normally perceive the world around them trichromatically (in three colours). Humans have three types of receptor for the perception of colour with varying sensitivities: red, green and blue. A new theory exists that there may be a small percentage of people (only women) who have a fourth colour receptor, which makes them ‘tetrachromatic’. In order to play on such ideas of a fourth component which, if it could be proven, would radically change our view of the world, Auerbach employs two analogies in this exhibition – the spatial (the idea of a fourth dimension) and the spectral (a fourth colour spectrum).
Since 2009, Auerbach has created a body of work she calls “fold paintings”. Inasmuch as they obscure the boundaries between two- and three-dimensionality, these paintings can be understood as an analogy that raises the possibility of a concept of four dimen¬sions. In these paintings she twists and folds the canvas, ironing or pressing it such that the folds are embedded in the material. Then the canvas is spread out and spray-painted while it still has its three-dimensional contour. The result – after the paint has dried and the canvas has been stretched – is an almost perfect registration of the previous three-dimensional form of the surface. The surface takes on a trompe l’oeil effect as a convincing reproduction of three-dimensional form on a surface, not unlike traditional mimetic painting – but in this case based on inventiveness rather than painterly virtuosity.
Auerbach often works in series where she uses both digital and older craft-based methodologies, such as sign painting or weaving – not for nostalgic reasons, but to throw ideas surrounding ‘technologies’ into relief. So it is perhaps also a natural consequence that she treats painting as a technology on an equal footing with other visual forms of communication – from the cuneiform script of ancient Mesopotamia to digital printing.
Through December 22, 2011
All images via CAD