Laurence Noga, Soft White Floating Silver, 2017, Acrylic, collage & steel on panel © Laurence Noga, Courtesy of Collyer Bristow Gallery, London
Could you explain this work?
Phenomenology underpins the way this assemblage is constructed. The sense of history which encompasses the work comes from collective and individual memories. In that the items in the work are found (in this case in my father’s garage when I moved him a couple of years ago). The garage contained hundreds of tools, old packets, washers, restaurant menus, countless books and photographs. The selection, collation, and assemblage of objects and memorabilia activate an open system reliant on the environment and the constant experimentation with materials. The elements are initially placed together in an intuitive very fast manner. The architectural elements within the paintings construction and composition create a kind of an industrialisation of memory, which refers not only to elements such as the steel semi circle (in which the viewer sees themselves) but also a long term interest in the “Bauhaus", particularly Moholy Nagy, Josef
Albers and Paul Klee.
What does this piece deal with?
I have been interested for some time in the elongation and compression of an image, particularly in the way in which some systems painters use a more intuitive approach to geometry and the retinal orchestration of space (Malcolm Hughes, Michael Kidner, Colin Cina ).The multiple views and displacements that occur draw the audience into a peripheral world of imperfect geometries. The widths and relationships of the bands and the constant painting and assembling of constituents, such as the circular wood elements, introduce a differentiation in the dynamics of colour or tone building a system of references and visual incidents. "The structure of the concept cannot be divorced from the structure of the langauge in which it is expressed" -Malcolm Hughes.
What medium and techniques did you use?
The starting point for my work comes from a system that is operational; the work is developed by assembling hand-cut collage and then incorporating materials such as acrylic, wood, steel, powder pigment, and varnish. The unpredictability/predictability and pitch of colour arrangements bring into play a contrast with the reductive position of the work. The colour or tonal variation is applied with the aim of disorientating the viewer, often disbursed or used in compartments to create an odd depth of field. Perhaps challenging the possibility of order and disorder, and building a highly saturated, optically expansive surface.
What were the struggles of making it?
The struggle comes from trying to keep the work open from a
perceptual /psychological angle. In terms of a dialogue with an
external reality and a very personal relationship to my own history
within the work. The choice of elements such as the shadow of the
house refer to the imprecision of our memories never quite dissolved.
This idea is developed by the overtones and undercurrents that
perhaps express a kind of world view, orchestrated by the inclusion of the Bauhaus symbol (construction house), and its relationship to
architecture, with its shifting of focus, and radical experimentation that the school developed.
What is the purpose behind this work?
In this work, I am interested in combining a personal sense of history
with an industrial/geometric aesthetic. Allowing the regulation of
memory to develop through the traces or residues that occur within
the layering and assembling (both temporally and spatially). Through the composition, I am trying to deliberately pull the viewer into different scales and surface implications, perhaps eliciting a human response to the mysterious and forgotten elements, and its poetic sense of history.