Michiel Ceulers and James Beckett
19 MAY – 11 JUNE 2017
MICHIEL CEULERS (b. 1986, Belgium) has a history of artworks that investigate their own medium. If his uncompromising and diverse works are hard to grasp at first, they reveal themselves to be very precise and sharply handled on second and third inspection. His paintings have a small, rather dirty outlook that references different historical styles. The smudged marks, thumb prints, ripped and badly stretched canvases are integral to Michiel Ceulers’ earlier work. The artist is not interested in beautiful or representational pictures; his works simply analyse shapes in colour, material and light. Once the works have left the confines of his studio they cease to be in a constant state of flux, and finally become.
JAMES BECKETT (b. 1977, Zimbabwe) graduated from the Technikon-Natal, Durban, South Africa, after which he took part in a two-year residency in the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Beckett’s assemblages are based on the death of Seymour Cray, the engineer widely considered the father of supercomputing. Cray died due to injuries sustained in a car accident while driving a Jeep Cherokee in October of 1996. These pieces combine car parts from the same vehicle model, layered with merchandise and artefacts from Cray’s research laboratories. In addition, a hobbyist’s rendering of the most renowned supercomputer becomes motif for a pyjama velvet— material evocative of the domestic environment in which the enthusiast’s version was conceived. The series appear as a random sampling under the odd classification of automotive death, each pursued as a macabre microcosm of modern goings-on.