This Wednesday (19 August) sees the opening of a new exhibition collaboratively organised by Outside In and Bethlem Gallery. ‘Outside In: Bethlem’ will showcase two refined yet differing perspectives on geometric form by artists Daniel and Rodney, selected for the exhibition by Simon Martin, Artistic Director at Pallant House Gallery. The exhibition continues until 11 September, with an accompanying workshop and talk.
When selecting the artists, Simon was drawn to the idea of two artists using drawing within their work, but to different ends. Both Daniel and Rodney use linear marks to create sophisticated images, but whilst Daniel builds up complex mandala-like structures, Rodney pares back all detail to the simplest of forms.
Daniel’s Metatron works form a series of drawings that all use geometric shapes, lines and vivid colour. With a tightly developed methodology for constructing structures and composing forms, Daniel has created a strong visual identity for his work. “It takes me a couple of months to do one piece, as I do it bit by bit in my own time and space,” Daniel says. “You can always find a face in my drawings that for me represents Archangel Metatron, accompanied by the third eye.”
“It has a remarkable precision and control, and yet it seems imaginatively free,” Simon says of Daniel’s work. “The abstract forms and colours in his drawings and paintings seem to exist without reference to the physical world and they remind us that the artist can be like a shaman to the unconscious and a deeper spirituality.”
Similar in their use of geometric forms to Daniel’s pieces, the beautifully precise and simple forms of Rodney’s work come from his studies of the world around him and include people, interiors, guns, stereos, boxes and locks. His sophisticated process of distilling complex forms down to something more refined and elegant is carried out quietly and without any formal training,” says Simon. “He seems to distil the physical wold down to the simplest scaffold of linear forms.”
Simon on Daniel’s Archangel Metatron Vitruvius Man
“Daniel’s extraordinary drawing reimagines the classical form of the Vitruvius Man, so memorably depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s image of the human body overlaid with the Golden Section. But whilst Leonardo seems to seek an ordering of form, Daniel presents the overwhelming complexity of the cosmic realm that is perhaps not immediately apparent to human eye. The discs, radiating arcs and crystalline shapes provide a structure within his drawings for pattern, bold colour and line, creating a psychic form that is both abstract and, on one level, figurative.”
Simon on Rodney’s 4:1
“Within the collection at Pallant House Gallery is an etching of abstract curved lines by the modern artist Jean Arp. The simplicity of form in Rodney’s drawings has something of the Arp’s clarity of expression, but what is remarkable is that he has reached this without reference to the traditions of art, to Surrealism or abstraction. Instead these drawings have more of an intuitive quality – reminding me of tribal art, or undefinable objects. There is both a sophisticated paring down to the essence of form, and a primitive totemic power.”
For more information on the exhibition, please click here.