23 Nov - 21 Dec 2019
The Old Posthouse
Workplace is pleased to present a new body of paintings by Jennifer Douglas in the first-floor gallery at The Old Posthouse, Gateshead.
Jennifer Douglas uses proletarian materials such as industrial floor paint, layered with elemental materials creating serene monochromatic canvases which she then works on ‘blind’ - repeatedly puncturing and scratching the surface to create works that are both violent and painterly. The works shown here at WORKPLACE employ precious metals such as silver and copper. These are materials that signify currency, assets, wealth, and aspiration, but also the inverse: the loose change in one’s pocket, shrapnel, coppers, 10p for cup of tea mate, 50p for the bus fare home. Left to tarnish and change these paintings are unstable and permanently in flux as they slowly discolour.
Through their reductive, minimal aesthetic and their entropic materiality these works allude to the romantic sublime yet they also take on more human associations. Left wrapped in plastic for a year before exhibiting one of the paintings has begun to turn both the golden hue of a corn-field sunset and the straw yellow of a fading bruise. Through these works there is a growing association with the moribund. Pink acrylic over silver leaf has dispersed and coagulated like oil on water, creating a bright rash-like bloom across a surface. Burnished silver welts up like a faded scar. Douglas’s punctures and scratches begin to allude as much to the pitted, agonised flesh depicted by Matthias Grunewald as to the spatial concepts of Lucio Fontana.
Jennifer Douglas was born in 1975 in Amersham, UK. She studied Fine Art at Newcastle University and completed her MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 2005. Exhibitions include Crab Walk, NGCA, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK; Confusion in her eyes that says it all, Maria Stenfors, London, UK; Tip of the Iceberg, Contemporary Art Society, London, UK; From Acanthus to Zebrawood Cooper Gallery, University of Dundee, UK; Beijing/Glasgow, Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Exit Strategy, Tramway, Glasgow, UK; The Games we Play, Barcsay Sala, Budapest; VANE Export, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; You Shall Know Our Velocity, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK. Jennifer Douglas lives and works in Gateshead, UK