EXHIBITION October 12- November 20, 2016
OPENING Friday, October 14, 6-8pm
Dutton presents GEYSERLAND, Jake Walker’s first solo show in New York. Walker’s work is an amalgam of painting and ceramic sculpture. Encased potent structures are parcels of containment and friction - thick gestural marks and layers of paint, built up over a period of time, flow and rush into one another or are pared back to reveal a formalistic weave of the canvas. With a weighted materiality, the paintings speak of the studio but also of earth and landscape, and bear the distinct and ineffable edge of New Zealand modernism.
Through the use of ceramics and terracotta as frames that evoke pipes, spindles, Roman irrigation systems, portholes, appendages or protrusions which delicately hug each improvisational painting, Walker alludes to the architectural language of New Zealander Ian Athfield as well as the artist's father Roger Walker, memorialized and retraced in earthy handmade borders, giving a sharpened exhilaration to the paintings. Many of the frames are laden with trachyte from volcanic rock that bursts through to the surface and melds with the glaze as the kiln reaches high temperatures.
The chalky white scrawled-over paintings included in the exhibition are from Walker’s ‘Ohakuri Dam’ series that, as well as the title of the exhibition, pay homage to the geysers, terraces, and waterfalls of the Orakei Karako Valley, which was flooded by the New Zealand government in 1961 to make way for a relatively small hydroelectric scheme. The works are poetic reminders of one of the world's great natural wonders, destroyed a decade before the artist's birth. The paintings, which also reference electronic screens, are asking the question: if something was erased before the advent of the Internet, was it ever really there?
Jake Walker studied at Otago School of Fine Art in Dunedin in 1991. Recent solo exhibitions include Suggested Things, Hamish McKay, Wellington, 2016; Unemployment Works, Station, Melbourne, 2016; Art Basel Hong Kong with Utopian Slumps, Hong Kong, 2014; The Town Belt, City Gallery, Wellington, 2014; Paintings and Relief, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2012; Painting and Relief, Studio 12, Gertrude Contemporary, 2012. Select group exhibitions include 5 Perspectives, The Young, Wellington, 2014; Assembly, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Never-Never Land, Roslyn Oxley 9 in collaboration with Utopian Slumps, Sydney, 2014; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013. Walker’s work is held in the Auckland Art Gallery Chartwell Trust, the Joyce Nissan collection, the Te Papa Tongarewa collection, as well as various private collections in New Zealand, Australia and internationally. Walker lives and works in Featherston, New Zealand.
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Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12pm to 6pm, and by appointment
124 Forsyth Street New York, NY 10002