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Rob Sherwood
Painting the Tension

Rob Sherwood’s main preoccupation seems to be the relationship between structure and disruption – the possibilities of establishing a certain regularity through the use of a grid which must then be undermined.

The grid has been a constant presence in his paintings, where it functions as both a generative device and as a material constraint. It enables him to test and explore the relationship between expression and construction, all the while suggesting that the potential of past structures and discursive registers – the grid, the colour chart, the monochrome, the activity of painting itself – remain unrealised and open to innovation. But in my view what is particularly compelling in Sherwood’s practice is the way in which this preoccupation isn’t only a formal procedure. Rather, it is the means to visualise tensions in our own lives between feelings of composure and feelings of uncertainty as well as the historical conditions that call for their elaboration in paint.”

(A fragment from Rye Dag Holmboe’s Rob Sherwood: A Poetics of Constraint. Read an edited version of Rye Dag Holmboe’s essay on Anti-Utopias)

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