Martin Boyce, Tonight, 2023
Martin Boyce / The Stars Are Out
Jun 3 – Jul 22, 2023
Galerie Eva Presenhuber
Vienna, Austria

Galerie Eva Presenhuber is delighted to present The Stars Are Out, the gallery’s fifth solo exhibition with the Scottish artist Martin Boyce.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” –William Shakespeare, Act 1 Scene 5, Hamlet

For his first solo exhibition in Vienna, the Glasgow-based, Turner Prize-winning (2011) artist Martin Boyce further elaborates on a reductive visual repertoire that consolidates aspects of architecture and design within the tenets of modernist production, repetition, and seriality. Consistently throughout his career, Boyce has used an economy of means to produce sculptural tableaux that distill and transform these structures into self-contained vessels of refinement. They underscore the shapes and patterns that surround us to the point of invisibility. With balletic precision, the twin poles of literary imagination and constructive pragmatism infuse Boyce with the power to distill the quintessence of an object. His playful material engagement with the components of high design belies his innovative solution to sculptural display in the manner of Carlo Scarpa, and Diego Giacometti, right on up to Wiener Werkstätte, and Franz West. In his installative stagings, form follows function; function segues into allegory suggesting a lapse in linear order. The minimal is there. Patterns intersect and repeat, unusual juxtapositions align, a low-tech logic ensues.

With such parameters in mind, Boyce has produced two distinct new bodies of interconnected works. An easel / armature displays the original woodblock that is the starting point for the new works. Meanwhile, seven rudimentary, washed-out, mixed-media, monochrome painting/woodblock collages in steel frames continue his exploration of minimalist painting. They leave exposed traces of his production methods. Each panel corresponds to color residues left upon the surface of the wood grain. Additionally, three woodblocks are framed and hung on the wall as further elaborations of repeating patterns. Where the industrial moire panels of his recent output suggest retro sci-fi room interiors and film noir, the new hybrid works look to the stars. The mystery of the constellations have long held fascination for artists as diverse as Van Gogh (Starry Night), visionary Japanese print maker Kawase Hasui (1883–1957), right on up to Vija Celmins.

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