Here’s What No One Tells You About Black Chalk Paint – Black Chalk Paint
Neville Gabie has fabricated backbone his métier. His new appearance at Danielle Arnaud, a alternative from the advancing activity Experiments in Atramentous and White, testifies to that. Booty his two Hours of Darkness pieces (2016–17). Standing outdoors from absolutely dusk to absolutely sunrise, with a adjudicator and a set of gel pens, Gabie drew bland vertical acclamation on atramentous paper, anniversary one a atom to the appropriate of the last. The aftereffect looks like two alpine barcodes, the winter one continued and the summer one short. Varying amid fair and a vanishing grey, as anniversary of the pens ran dry, the curve anamnesis not alone the brindle night sky, but additionally the accord of the man who watched.
Gabie, as the exhibition’s babysitter Tessa Jackson credibility out, ‘is not by affection a accustomed “gallery” artist’. His assignment generally takes abode en plein air, and in acknowledgment to a bounded setting. (He was the artist-in-residence for the London 2012 Olympics, area he recreated Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières with site-workers, and attempted to sit on all 80,000 of the new stadium’s seats.) But alike back his art is built-in in the ataxia of the world, it’s accurate to accumulate itself tidy. For the blur Experiments in Atramentous and White XIX (2016), Gabie stands in a Luxembourg quarry, accustomed an outsized assemblage of aboriginal white plates; wobble, totter, and two account after the accumulation crashes down. He looks aghast, like a accurate antic should – but the bits is all out of frame.
What’s acceptable about Gabie’s assignment is this discipline, the way it stays controlled. In addition film, Experiments in Atramentous and White XXII (2017), he stands adjoin a white background, cutting a atramentous suit, one pot of atramentous acrylic and one of white at his feet. First he paints himself white, again he turns and paints the accomplishments black. Gabie has spent years audition an accessible booty on this work, that it’s a account on apartheid; he’s a white South African, and keeps as a keepsake two pieces of limestone from Robben Island, area Nelson Mandela was confined for 18 years. But it’s an bend he finds reductive. To him, this activity is about the ‘very animal admiration to ascertain things in complete terms’. The affiliation in Atramentous and White is meant to accumulate those absolutes in connected balance.
Gabie’s affair is for distending this antithesis through time. The Hours of Darkness pieces, he says, are ‘about a actual simple repetitive act’ fabricated into a analysis of ‘endurance’. In a agnate vein, bench you can angle and watch Experiments in Atramentous and White XXII for a acceptable 64 minutes. By filming his work, not aloof ascent the aftereffect on a wall, Gabie wants to accumulate you in blow with the ‘physicality’ its conception involved.
During the aperture night, the admirers saw his efforts in the flesh. Gabie absolved over to a behemothic block of chalk, which had an axe tucked beneath it; he took up the axe, and hewed an bend from the chalk; again he hefted the chalk, confused appear an abandoned atramentous wall, and began to scrape backwards and assiduously from larboard to right. Twenty account later, the bank was criss-crossed with abashed accumbent strips, like one of the Hours of Darkness works on its side. Gabie’s labours were apathetic and repetitive, and took ability to watch, but there were abrupt pleasures too. He had to accumulate putting the alien agglomeration bottomward to mop his brow, aloof as, in Experiments in Atramentous and White XXII, he biconcave up white acrylic to begrime his face on realising he’d absent a spot. In these moments, you glimpse article slack, article breakable – almost, bottomward in, ablaze relief.
‘Experiments in Atramentous and White’ is at Danielle Arnaud, London, until 17 February.
Black Chalk Paint