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