Broadbent - Pierre Imhof: String
12 March - 17 April 2004
This exhibition of abstract paintings and works on paper takes its title from theoretical physics, but also includes paintings abstracted from Monet’s lily paintings at Giverny and the fabric designs of Coco Chanel.
For Imhof we are surrounded by the illusion of neatness at every level; theoretical equations that encapsulate our universe, the optical neatness of endlessly repeatable clothes patterns and the mass consumerism of iconic paintings endlessly reproduced on place mats and mugs.
His response as a painter to this order is coded in titles such as “s=mc+e” (string equals mess, chaos and elegance), “Liquid Equation”, “Giverny, Giverna, Givernette” and “Coco Rico” and “Coco Ricco 2” (sic). Imhof confronts orderliness by constructing and then deconstructing it on the canvas, creating a situation that “is as messy as the worst bits of life”. >From this he creates a painterly, “elegant” resolution where visual cohesion becomes unique and complex, reflecting our human perspective.
Underlying all these works is the presence of string as a collection of lines. Vertically packed together, sometimes crossed at right angles by more of the same, they produce a weave effect. At some places these organised unidirectional lines collide and interfere with each other creating eddies, swirls and periods of brief hiatus which themselves become filled with squiggles and drips of colour. It is these points of collision that give the value to the work and introduce a complexity beyond both theory and pattern.
This is Pierre Imhof's third solo show at Broadbent, and follows on from “Bish Bash Bosh” and “Pixel Shmixel”. This exhibition has been supported by the Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain.
Pierre Imhof was born in Fribourg, Switzerland and moved to London in 1979. There he studied painting and sculpture at Middlesex University, gaining his BA and being awarded the art purchase prize in 1986. He exhibits in Britain and Switzerland, and has also shown in Germany and in North and South America.
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