The Skeleton Field: Nellie Castan Gallery

Chris Bond

18 - 11 Oct 2012

The Skeleton Field Nine comprises hardback books featuring the life and work of Jackson Pollock are the source material for these intensely detailed works, each of them stripped back monochrome replicas of the originals.

The painted covers of these works feature imagery typical of the art biography genre –¬†artist standing in front of work, artist at work, and the works themselves, every drip painted in a photorealistic manner with multiple tones of a single colour. The imagery is instantly recognizable, part of modern mythology, but Pollock’s name, along with the author’s name, subtitle and publisher logo have been completely removed.

Constructed from linen, canvas and cardboard, the surfaces of these painted books carry exaggerated damage from their imagined use as actual objects –¬†marks, creases, tears and stains disrupt the carefully painted surfaces. Yet the visible edges of the internal pages, constructed of layers of canvas, are crisp and clean.

These works are blanks, black holes, voids, part of the history of reductive abstraction, where the erasure of content allows the formal qualities of an object to rise to the surface, to become explicit.