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A Parliament of Some Things

  • Almine Rech Gallery
  • Almine Rech Gallery
October 10, 2014
Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art.

Extracting semi-expected pictures of distinctive textural quality from an inversely composed scene, Mark Hagen investigates the planes of the unseen, attempting to present us with mere fragments of the existing, yet visually incomprehensible matter. His technically cultivated objects stand in opposition with the paintings, both questioning the limits of human senses and the physically proven occurrences beyond their reach. Hagen’s practice is highly experimental, only foreseeable to a degree, but conceptually, perfectly synced with his endeavor of explaining the entirety of the universe. Even though he does not succeed in portraying all the fragments, his journey is far from over, whereas the observer can only get an approximately accurate idea of what is invisible, by gazing at all of Hagen’s works, one at a time, and connecting them mentally into a coherent assembly. Almine Rech Gallery in London is hosting a solo exhibition by Mark Hagen this October, presenting his latest exploratory pieces.

Almine Rech Gallery
Mark Hagen

Concept Begins with Hagen’s Creative Process

A very particular creative process of Mark Hagen implies the immanent concept of his paintings. They are made by pushing black and white paint through rough fabric, onto glass planes that support pieces of wrinkled wrapping plastic, tape, cut tiles and other material. When the paint dries, the textile paint carrier is peeled off from the surface, leaving a distinctive mark on a jarring texture. What is left is actually a negative imprint of what was painted, only controlled by the artist to an extent. Making a negative, a positive aspect of his paintings, Hagen toys with the concept of the seen and the unseen, addressing the natural limitations of human vision and the rendering of a picture in the brain. His work unveils that there is more than we are able to grasp, but he, being a human, only scratches the surface in trying to depict it. In the process, the artist employs only black and white paint, conjuring countless shades of grey, that sink into, and emerge from, one another.

Almine Rech Gallery
Mark Hagen

Monochromatic Realms Are Broader

Creating on the grounds set by monochrome painting, Hagen’s philosophy explores the idea that eyes only detect that what looks back at them. By relinquishing color, the artist intends to remind the viewer that the spectrum we perceive as colorful is only a tiny fragment of the visual realm, while his works are meant to suggest the beyond. Using paint as not only chromatic, but textural medium, the artist creates pictorial hybrids, alluding to the topography of the planet, and the components of its soil. Fascinated with geological substances, from the amorphous nature of mud, to perfection of mineral structure, the artist created his latest works works that evoke the omnipresent, eternal, yet hardly recognizable natural phenomena.

Almine Rech Gallery
Mark Hagen

Mark Hagen’s Sculptures

Just as paintings of Mark Hagen contain certain sculptural quality, his sculptures reflect painterly character. Reminiscing a postmodern bas-relief, the pieces are made of 4 x 8 ft honeycomb aluminum sheets, cut into irregular shapes, joined together by the mobile, rotating edges. The works are covered with thin sheets of anodized titanium, reflecting the light in rainbow spectrum, alluding to the painting. By connecting his three-dimensional pieces and the paintings, Mark Hagen transcends the medium, delivering a sole message with a single piece, or an entire installation, still allowing for various interpretations of his suggestive, abstract works.

Almine Rech Gallery
Mark Hagen

A Parliament of Some Things at Almine Rech

Entitled A parliament of Some Things, the upcoming exhibition by Mark Hagen is filled with antagonistic visual conversations, constantly alluding to what is not there. Some things are depicted, while some remain in the domain of imagined, pursued only through relentless exploration, if ever understood. Opening on October 13, the show will remain on view at Almine Rech London gallery through November 11, 2014, provoking the further seeing of reality.

Almine Rech Gallery is known for the progressive art exhibitions, such as The Bruce collabroative show presented at its Brussels chapter.

Experimental practices are what drives contemporary art forward. Read about experiments made by Andy Warhol with Factory Shadows, mark making practice of Lucy McLauchlan or the series of prints of the famous light artist James Turrell.

Almine Rech Gallery
Mark Hagen
Almine Rech Gallery
Mark Hagen

All photos are merely for illustrative purposes. [mc4wp_form]