2022. 6. 29 – 7. 30
‘Untitled’ has been a favorite term of modern abstract artists for many reasons over the years. In the 1950s, abstract artists focused on the ﬂat quality of paintings, emphasizing their ‘purity’ and how that distinguished them from other arts. They refused to use painting as a means to simply reproduce or replicate other subjects, instead choosing to accentuate the inherent ﬂatness of paintings, and along with a more liberal approach to color, aimed to reveal values unique only to painting. Their choice to leave their works ‘Untitled’ was like a declaration, which was later passed on to the minimalists. The minimalist artists moved further away from the theme of reproduction by stressing the importance of materiality and the pureness of form in art. As they lost the urge to convey context through their work, the need for descriptive titles also naturally diminished.
The decision to call the show ‘Untitled’ was made by Robert Moreland himself, demonstrating his intention to avoid providing any clues to the work through the use of a speciﬁc word, or to impose on the viewer by presenting a certain type of experience. It is a title that reﬂects the artist’s aim to focus on only the most basic of elements, such as the physical properties of the material, the color, and the shape of the work.
Robert Moreland’s work begins with the creation of a small miniature model, called a maquette. The overall shape of the work is determined through the making of a maquette, then the artist moves on to construct a wooden frame, afterward covering it with drop cloth or canvas. Moreland does not staple his canvas in place, he instead elects to use metal tacks, and metal hinges are replaced with leather ones, connecting canvas to canvas and completing the structure.
The artist recognizes canvas as an independent rather than secondary material, not something only used in conjunction with another ‘main’ material or a mere planar background for painting. Therefore, he builds shapes and structures that highlight the physical properties of canvas and explores how colors and lines change along with the shape of the three-dimensional form. The folded sections and ﬂat planes of the structure change depending on the lighting of the exhibition hall and the movement of the visitors, and at certain angles seemingly shift into different shapes and colors. Moreland’s work responds to the environment it is placed in, changing and creating new spaces of its own.
When encountering a foreign visual experience, we look for familiarities to try and understand it. Hopefully, Robert Moreland’s works will be an opportunity to accept unfamiliar forms as they are and welcome each experience as the right one.
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