Damian Moppett

6 May — 25 June, 2016

Catri­ona Jef­fries is pleased to announce a solo exhi­bi­tion by Dami­an Mop­pett com­prised of paint­ings and ceram­ic work begin­ning from a sin­gle image. As a uni­fied body of work, each orig­i­nates from a small, black and white ref­er­ence pho­to­graph of Alan Jarvis burn­ing the reject­ed paint­ings of David Milne at Six Mile Lake, Ontario in 1939. The site and act of destroy­ing art­work, rather than the site and process of its cre­ation in the stu­dio as in Moppett’s pre­vi­ous work, becomes the cat­a­lyst for pro­duc­tion and cen­ter­ing point for the devel­op­ment of form, line and com­po­si­tion.

The paint­ings here are abstract and are not oblique­ly ref­er­en­tial, as the image dis­ap­pears and becomes ren­dered as draw­ing, then trans­formed through a ser­i­al, trans­la­tion­al process. Trans­fer­ring only por­tions of these drawn lines into indi­vid­ual paint marks, they are placed onto an inter­me­di­ary sur­face before being applied to the can­vas to cre­ate new abstract com­po­si­tions. This process cre­ates a slow­ly revealed, false spon­tane­ity instead of forc­ing the acci­dent or inci­den­tal in pro­duc­tion. The brush­stroke or mark is not direct­ly applied on the sur­face but held in a kind of stu­dio pur­ga­to­ry before appli­ca­tion. This process of tran­scrib­ing line is akin to a sort of record mak­ing, but in order to do one thing, you have to do it twice. What appears imme­di­ate is firm­ly deter­mined and the paint­ing becomes a result of pur­pose­ful acci­dent, avoid­ing mas­tery.

Moppett’s long stand­ing engage­ment with process, mate­r­i­al and their his­to­ries also applies to the glazed ceram­ic work in direct con­ver­sa­tion with these paint­ings. The stoneware takes form as mount­ed sculp­tur­al tableaux, and a fig­ure form hold­ing a paint­ing above a fire in land­scape becomes slight­ly more leg­i­ble here, but com­pli­cat­ed through their seem­ing­ly quick exe­cu­tion and ama­teur craft form, a tra­di­tion Mop­pett has long uti­lized through­out his prac­tice. The form and line from these three dimen­sion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tions repeat in the sur­round­ing paint­ings, flip­ping ori­en­ta­tion and scale, the exhi­bi­tion cre­at­ing its own her­met­ic lan­guage of marks from a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of destruc­tion.

Dami­an Mop­pett (b.1969, Cana­da) lives and works in Van­cou­ver, Cana­da. Recent solo exhi­bi­tions include, The Bells, Simon Fras­er Uni­ver­si­ty Gallery, Burn­a­by (2014); Van­cou­ver Art Gallery Off-site (2012); Ren­nie Col­lec­tion at Wing Sang, Van­cou­ver (2011); The Sculptor’s Stu­dio is a Paint­ing, Catri­ona Jef­fries, Van­cou­ver (2010); Yvon Lam­bert, Paris (2007); Tem­ple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Philadel­phia (2007); Car­leton Uni­ver­si­ty Art Gallery, Ottawa (2006); The Vis­i­ble Work, Con­tem­po­rary Art Gallery, Van­cou­ver (2005). Mop­pett has also been includ­ed in numer­ous group exhi­bi­tions, includ­ing Shine a Light, Nation­al Gallery of Cana­da, Ottawa (2014); Not Pho­tographs, Pre­sen­ta­tion House Gallery Satel­lite, Van­cou­ver (2011); Every­thing Every­day, Van­cou­ver Art Gallery (2010); Don Qui­jote, Witte de With, Rot­ter­dam, The Nether­lands (2006); A Trib­ute to Cezanne, Yvon Lam­bert, New York (2006); Inter­tidal: Van­cou­ver Art and Artists, Muse­um Van Heden­daagse Kun­st Antwer­pen, Antwerp, Bel­gium (2005); The Cave and the Island, White Columns, New York; Galerie Kun­st­buero, Vien­na (2004); Bounce, Pow­er Plant, Toron­to (2002); Ham­mer­town, Fruit­mar­ket Gallery, Edin­burgh, Scot­land (2002).