Asha Zero: errr_evvz

SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
10 Dec 2016 - 21 Jan 2017

Asha Zero: errr_evvz

Asha Zero, r_r (detail), 2016, Acrylic on Board, 204.5 x 326 cm

SMAC Gallery presents errr_evvz,  Asha Zero’s second solo exhibition with the gallery that features a collection of large scale paintings as well as some smaller, more intimate works.

Zero employs a multi-faceted approach to the medium of paint, adopting an assemblage of images into his trademark visual cacophony.  On viewing errr_evvz, one is immediately struck by jarring fragments of figures and pattern interlaced with the gestural application of paint, at times resembling chalk or perhaps pencil marks. The mastery of acrylic paint mimicking paper cut-outs, photographs and countless other graphic images reveals the playful spirit of an artist who is driven by concept, an artist who grabs and tears at the fabric of the historical and digital image-scape, simultaneously incorporating and undoing visual codes.

In errr_evvz, Zero suggests multiplicity as a means to abstraction. This is a marked departure from the artist’s earlier figurative work. By layering the paintings with images from popular media, Zero exposes, using sleight of hand, the digital landscape as a territory for contemplation.  Flattened surfaces intercepting with textual elements and colour gradients speak to the contemporary condition of online culture and the place of images located between the physical and transitory. These are landscapes of information, a depiction of a world pulsating with Wi-Fi signals.

The bewildering experience of viewing the densely occupied surfaces prompts the viewer to experience a dislocated reality, better understood by means of cropping rather than attempting to decode the paintings as a unified whole. The binary logic and concept of the work is discovered in fragments, an experience similar to reading online – or viewing a map.

These fragmented patches of information indicate a dialogue with the history of art, as expressed through the medium of painting. Zero’s works are visually coded samples of the painterly tradition, from the Renaissance through to Modernist Abstraction, Surrealism, Pop Art and Post-Internet painting. Optical illusions are blended with impasto and intermingled with text, introducing visual shifts that merge a plethora of pictorial approaches. The compositions explore a panorama of images (from art history accessed though catalogues and books to image codes that resonate via Internet search engines and multiply as memes), filtered by visual media and pointing to narratives in motion – an interpretation of the flickering world of multiplicity.

These arrangements of sketched ideas and cancelled-out, hyper-real surfaces show Zero sifting through the vehicles of duplicate realities, camouflaging the falsified ideals that punctuate the contemporary experience of visual representation.

The exhibition will run until 21 January 2017. For more information or to receive a portfolio of the works on show, please contact the gallery in Cape Town.



Read Conscious Improvisation by Sean O’Toole


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