Ellen Mara de Wachter in conversation with Karen Tang and David Ben White, 16 February 2017
it’s for me, it’s for you, presents sculptures by Karen Tang and paintings by David Ben White. The artists produced these new pieces independently, discovering by chance during the making process that shared influences existed. This two-person exhibition offers connections between the works, emphasising formal and conceptual aspects of each artist’s practice.
Tang’s Magnetic Combo series consists of modules that can be reconfigured in response to the scale and type of environment they are sited in. Some of her previous sculptures and installations have been site-specific, but this body of work is a departure in terms of proposing physically interchangeable and multiple variations. Tang’s geometric steel structures allude to high-modernist sculpture, but submit to acting as supports for magnetically-held forms, which seem to invade with their eclectic mix of references from pop-culture and the natural world.
David Ben White’s paintings depict interiors, doubling as geometric abstract patterns, that appear spatially complex and flat at the same time. These ambiguous territories act as containers from which individual narratives can flourish. The range of characters, or performers, within these choreographed set-ups are purposefully economical. Sundry domestic items are recast as two-dimensional screens onto which different forms of modernist inspired painterly languages appear projected. Quoting from a plethora of different painterly fine art references, the set-ups present fractured moments of what might be seen as heroic modernist painterly gestures, fossilised within unexpected domestic framing devices.
it’s for me, it’s for you links the works of Tang and White to double-up, and amplify, their paradoxical visual languages.