The Sunday Painter is thrilled to present Command-X, Neil Rumming’s first exhibition at the gallery. For the show Rumming has produced a body of work that challenges our relationship to a range of existing languages and signs, and in turn addresses issues that tap into philosophical ideas relating to reflexivity, the addressing and re-framing of a previous act.
All the work is born out of a physical premise, as suggested by the title. Command-X are the common computing short cut keys for the cut action; while the digital edit plays a part in the process behind the works, as a whole the show draws deeply upon the notion of collage, setting up explicit frictions between analogue and digital languages. Objects are removed from their original contexts and are re-authored into new forms with new purposes. This can clearly be seen in the use of the nail motif in a number of paintings. Familiar, linear, dependable forms become malleable, twisting, flexible shapes, punctuating the surface as they might have originally done, but also transforming themselves into brushstrokes, ornamenting the surface of the paintings.
The idea of subverting an image or an objects associative value and application is a central theme of the exhibition. The humble nail is repurposed into a fundamental building block of the painting as new contexts are extrapolated from its original application. Huggies baby wipes become house bricks, dissolving the normal formal cues we expect of a plinth, and consciously unpicking the cognitive instincts through which we categorise and recognise specific labels.
The work often employs digitally blown up images, forcing attention onto overlooked elements such as the weight, form and materiality of these items. The use of images that are degraded, out of focus or clearly manipulated highlight the fact that there is a mechanical and digital output, and all the works bear testament to a sense of physical history, enhanced by the placement of the images upon painted, pitted and scuffed ground. This sensibility is important as it locates the work around ideas of how we mark our existence in the world. The choice of quite trivial elements to illuminate ideas of a grander scale is a juxtaposition that lies at the core of Rumming’s practice.
Neil Rumming, b. 1973, lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include: Undercover, Bourouina Gallery, Berlin (2015); Hands Off!,(curated by Francesca Gavin), Room of Requirement @ horseandpony Fine arts, Berlin (2015); Flora, Fauna, KINMAN, London (2014);Objectness (Curated by Peles Empire), Outpost, Norwich (2013); Signs and Messages II, Kate McGarry Gallery, London (2013); Hand Me Down, COLE, London (2012); Seriously Connected Old Greyhair,Christopher Crescent @ HD Projects, New York (2012); Studio Voltaire 12 (Selected by Mike Nelson and Jenni Lomax), Studio Voltaire, London (2012)