Folk Mathematics

Mon 25 Aug 2008 – Sat 20 Sep 2008

The Tricycle Gallery is pleased to present Folk Mathematics, the latest exhibition in a yearlong series exclusively devoted to recent graduates. Folk Mathematics is the informal maths of everyday life. Used often without knowing or caring about their inherent formal mathematical structures, its practice is usually understood intuitively. In Folk Mathematics Reading University graduates David Hanger and Paul Radburn and Royal College of Art graduate Ellen Stanford display a series of abstract geometric works which share this informal relationship towards structure.

David Hanger’s object based practice appropriates items unseen in or from outside of the gallery and reinterprets them within a reductive form of abstraction. With New Wave Hanger juxtaposes unrelated items placing the vinyl record within the context of Artex patterning familiar from domestic settings. With Description of a Picture he utilises the triangular form of stretcher pegs traditionally used to stretch canvas without the painted surface concealing them. Referencing household and functional objects Hanger makes the unseen visible and highlights their innate formal structure.

Paul Radburn’s work attempts a human engagement with twentieth century Modernism. Using the iconic Modernist De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-On-Sea as a source, Radburn deconstructs and flattens its composition. Using dynamic human figures within the abstract composition gives the appearance of assembly instructions and puts them into an active relationship with the structure. The human body is reintroduced into the picture, questioning the architectural form as historically unmoveable.

Ellen Stanford uses systems of logic, order and value, such as composition, symmetry and perspective and attempts to undermine them so that the paintings act as a representational default. Loose and subjective narratives reoccur throughout the work that often alludes to spectacles or quasi-spiritual scenes. These pull the paintings away from their formal tendencies towards Geometric Abstraction and place them into a fictional real space. Creating contradicting planes of depth and space they throw the viewer into the deception of pictorial illusion. Fundamentally they deal with the instability of truth and belief systems such as Geometry, colour, Abstraction, sight.

Tricycle Recent Graduates 2008 is a programme of exhibitions organised by the Tricycle Gallery to give exhibition opportunities to aspiring artists. In devoting an entire year to recent graduates, the Tricycle aims to give greater exposure to the selected artists whilst simultaneously displaying an exciting and contemporary programme.