7 Wooden Panels: New Works by Craigie Horsfield

8 Jun–28 Sep 2013
7 Wooden Panels is an exhibition of new photographic works by British artist Craigie Horsfield. In these works, the artist’s photographs have been printed repeatedly into the surface of gesso-covered oak and then coated in layers of wax.

These seven new works by Craigie Horsfield continue his experimentation with the materiality of objects and how it might be depicted. These flowers and basic foodstuffs exist so substantially in the present, they are familiar to us, part of our shared experience. But at the same time their familiarity draws on something much deeper in our consciousness; we share a kind of ‘material memory’ as Horsfield puts it; a recognition of their connection to the past. Rather as when we see a stranger in a crowd: we feel we know them and yet they remain other. So these basic foodstuffs – garlic, pork, bread – might equally belong in a medieval marketplace, or appear as details in a 17th century Dutch still life, and yet they also exist now. Their images have the capacity to collapse time. The sensation of looking at them can create a kind of vertigo as allusions and associations rush in and collide. Not least because their constituent materials – oak, gesso, ink, wax – connect us to the art of earlier centuries.

Horsfield chose these modest subjects deliberately because of the intense ideas going on beneath them. He wanted ‘that sense of the presence of their being which is animated within us’. Perhaps it is an old-fashioned desire for art to be visceral, for it to speak to us through experience and sensation as much as though intellect or difficulty that makes these works connect so powerfully. Between them and us we feel what Horsfield so accurately identifies as ‘the sympathy of recognition’. Liz Jobey
Craigie Horsfield

Writing by
Liz Jobey

︎︎︎  ︎︎︎