Hartley’s work often features optical effects and markings on highly textured surfaces. Paintings present impasto surfaces characterized by bold, linear brushstrokes, organic, elemental shapes and a complex palette. These improvised gestures and colours also materialize in or are activated by sculptural forms made from paper and resin. Often placed side by side, both the artist’s paintings and sculptures find a common ancestry in their inception as Hartley explains, “The starting point of a work is an image or object, which then becomes abstracted. My reaction to the source either copies and mimics parts of it, or acts to deny and change its presence entirely.”
In Light, the artist presents a new direction - a departure from the canvas painting instead directly onto glass – a quotidian, domiciliary material. These painted glass slabs are framed by steel structures - some stand fully as tables, other even ‘sit’ half collapsed or ‘lean’ angled against walls ready to be lit to holographic effect by attached or suspended hand-blown glass lamps mimicking bodily forms. Hartley observes the interdependence between these objects through the prism of “human relationships” – one reliant on the other for activation. These works animate the dynamics of a domestic space and extend to striking and surprising effect, Hartley’s abstractionist practice.
Gabriel Hartley (London, UK, 1981) lives and works in London. He holds a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London and a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art from the Royal Academy Schools, London. Recent solo exhibitions include: Lozenges, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, Posing, Foxy Production, New York, Splays, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Slap, Praz-Delavallade, Paris. Recent group exhibitions include: Cuts, Shapes, Breaks and Scrapes, Seventeen Gallery, London. Bloom, Kinman Gallery, London, (with B. Horns & D. Pevey), Basic Instinct, Seventeen Gallery, London, and Far In Out (curated by Jérôme Lefèvre), Triangle Bleu, Stavelot
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