Artist Laura Gannon creates a lunar atmosphere for her first show at Kate Macgarry, exhibiting imposing, large-scale metallic panels. Verticality erupts in a palette of glowing silvers, earth reds, deep blacks, a golden ochre. Extra-terrestrial pigments. The canvases are made by applying multiple layers of ink directly onto both sides of a thick linen. By using such a strenuous process, the corporeality of the materials is made visible, making it difficult to situate the works in a traditional definition of what painting or sculpture can be. The canvases are indeed painted, but they are also cut, sliced, ripped, carved, and bent.
Laura Gannon has a background in film and she has often installed her video work using dividing elements, screens or benches, to create selective viewing experiences for her audience. Silver House, 2015, exhibited here, is a mapping of a ’70s house in Ireland on the West Cork coast. The camera slowly moves through the exteriors and the interiors of the modernist building, freezing certain details through filming techniques.
Looking at the film together with the other works in the gallery we encounter a sense of déjà vu, an uncanny resemblance without absolute repetition. Conjuring feelings of familiarity as well as disquiet, details of the film seem to have been cut and pasted directly onto the gallery walls, as if spaces of representation and display imitate and infect one another. For example, the drapery in the video seems to come to three dimensional life in the larger pleated work on the back wall, The Lesser Bohemians, 2018; a mirroring across the space that at once plays with appearances and disappearances, encounters and memory, between different media.
Gannon suggests rather than dictates a dialogue between her work and the imaginative worlds of others. The instinctive attraction to the materiality of her work – the lingering cuts of linen, an electric blue stitch – entice like the details of a densely woven fabric, from which we can pick but one pattern in a specific place.
Many of the titles are taken from novels: The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride; The Sea Wall (Un Barrage contre le Pacifique) by Marguerite Duras; The Shoe Story by Maeve Braennan; Utz by Bruce Chatwin. Recruiting the textual metaphors, narratives, and styles of these novels, Laura Gannon makes a mobile of different realities and fictions – suspending a material world alongside so many possible others.
Ilaria Puri Purini
Curator of Programmes
Kate Macgarry, 27 Old Nichol St, London E2 7HR. Wednesday – Saturday 12.00 – 18.00. Exhibition continues until 24 March 2018. www.katemacgarry.com