Blacklands: a new solo exhibition at Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Cologne
Gerard Hemsworth solo exhibition „blacklands“ will be held at the Thomas Rehbein Galerie from 25 November 2011 to 14 January 2012.
Hemsworth presents paintings as pictures. He brings together signs and representations of high modernist art alongside and integrated with signs and representations from cartoon narratives derived from children’s colouring in books. Presenting pictorial and ideological contradictions to felicitate critical engagement. Engaging with Hemsworth’s work is both thrilling and disconcerting. It questions our understanding of what constitutes a work of art along with the values that we bring to the work.
What initially seems like a straightforward representation of something familiar, unproblematic, simple and innocent is undermined by contradictions within the work and consequently presents the possibility of picturing something troubling that we don’t know or fully understand.
Contradictions between renaissance space and modernist space, between high and low art, between the serious and the absurd become both uncanny and subversive. But perhaps the ‘unknown’ is an essential element and necessary feature for critical engagement. In a way his work is about anxieties, he presents notions of difference and indifference and the question of value.
Hemsworth plays with and asserts the ridiculous, his works are often funny, they can be seen as very silly paintings, but what they do is demand a serious response, they frame a set of enquiries and picture a set of issues that are both assertive and persuasive.