GAGPROJECTS is proud to present Space Junky by Christian Lock.
Glossy surfaces and abstract, amorphously rounded or lazy geometric shapes characterise the new paintings by Christian Lock. The paintings elegant in themselves are as much constructions as they are paintings, directly referencing Modernism’s pure beauty.
The imperfect smoothness of the surfaces and their crisp, limit palette call to mind Mondrian, Reitfveld, de Stijl or even Malevich — possibly Modernity’s most prominent abstract artists working in the first quarter of the 20th century. In creating these new works Lock, revisits seminal works from the early Modernists: scrutinising forms and colours and infuses a new energy and materiality into the mix.
This is not a sentimental retrogressive approach to art making, Lock has for sometime sort to extend the possibilities of painting, experimenting with materials, systems of holding a 2 dimensional surface in space, or methods of production outside the traditional conventions.
To describe Christian Lock as a painter does not quite encompass the full nature of his practice – Lock works with painting, interrogating its component parts, examining their role and possibilities, before pulling them back together in the final object. This impulse to push past the traditional limits of painting draws a lineage from Lock to the ideas of late 1960s Californian Minimalism, or Light and Space art. Referred to as the ‘Finish Fetish’ artists, those working in this manner aligned their aesthetics with the car and surf culture prevalent in California, appropriating new and innovative industrial materials such as resins, plastics and auto enamels. The resulting reflective forms acknowledged light and space as integral considerations, working to remove the boundaries between painting, sculpture and architecture.
Lock’s recent work pushes these materials, testing their gestural qualities and their potential to break free from the two-dimensional plane. Their molded surfaces appear casual, even accidental, but time spent with them reveals their careful composition. The works in Space Junky are a balance of experimentation and control: areas of deliberate molding steady the liquid drips; smooth and glossy, mechanical geometry provides a counterpoint to liquid biomorphic forms.
- Gillian Brown, Curator, Samstag Museum of Art, Uni of South Australia, 2018
Lives and works in Adelaide, Australia.
Christian Lock was born in 1969. He completed an Advanced Diploma of Art, Applied & Visual, North Adelaide School of Art, Adelaide (1999); Bachelor Visual Arts, SA School of Art, University of South Australia, Adelaide (2000); Honours, Bachelor Visual Arts, SA School of Art, University of South Australia, Adelaide (2001); Masters Visual Arts, SA School of Art, University of South Australia, Adelaide (2006). Exhibitions include The Substation Contemporary Art Prize, The Substation Centre for Art & Culture, Victoria (2011); CACSA Contemporary 2010: THE NEW NEW, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide (2010); Wynne Prize for landscape painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2008). Collections include Artbank, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia & private collections.
Exhibitions include The Substation Contemporary Art Prize, The Substation Centre for Art & Culture, Victoria (2011); CACSA Contemporary 2010: THE NEW NEW, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide (2010); Wynne Prize for landscape painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2008). Collections include Artbank, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia & private collections. Christian currently lives and works in Adelaide, South Australia
"The unifying through-line of the work has been Lock’s ongoing interest in the status of the painting and its component parts, both as signifiers of the language of the form, but also as a dialogue with its history. Lock has referred to himself as a ‘sampler’ and ‘remixer’, someone who creates new songs from the fragments of the old, but the most compelling aspect of the work is its rich psychological implications. Lock provides the viewer with a frame and a template to let the imagination loose – and the apophenic delights within are hypnotic."
- Andrew Frost, 2012.