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Exhibitions

"Cangueles" at the Arranz-Bravo Foundation

Fins al 20 de novembre

"Cangueles" at the Arranz-Bravo Foundation

Michael Lawton conceives artistic practice from two sides: abstract painting and science fiction writing. For Lawton, they run tangentially, each going their own way, but occasionally they meet and cross each other.

The project he presents to the Arranz-Bravo Foundation as part of Gallery Weekend 2022 is the result of a Hangar grant awarded in 2019 to paint ten large-format paintings and write a novel. The initial idea was to write and paint in parallel on the same concept, but in the end they seemed two incompatible things. Thus, he first wrote twelve chapters, then focused on the paintings and, once completed, completed the novel. However, "there is a contamination between both, they share the same texture". For the exhibition, the novel has been transformed into ten texts, one for each painting, which the visitor will find distributed throughout the space of the foundation, "in order to give the exhibition a certain flavor" . This is speculative science fiction, don't expect robots or lasers or aliens, but fertile ground for philosophy. The story centers on a plant called guatllana , a way of considering surveillance capitalism through a vegetation that controls everything.

In Michael Lawton's paintings all time collapses. The time of cracked screens, the time of centuries-old quarries, the time of a flood or the time of greenhouses. “As a painter, one of the things that interests me the most is being able to capture the contemporary world through a technique as old as oil painting; I wanted to get to the texture of contemporary life, but how do I paint a screen?” Each of the paintings responds to a moment of dramatic tension or literary cliché, "when something happens in a narrative, they are cultural references or places where things happen". Like The wall , The flood , The greenhouse , The institute , The barn or The forest . Also The quarry that his father climbed, and he too, thirty years later. Or The wedding , full of confetti and many guests toasting in unison. Or The riot suit , which is used by one of the policemen in Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly ( A look in the dark ) to infiltrate a group of young lumpen fans of an addictive and lethal substance called D It all came from "when you see a big screen on the street and part of it is cracked so that what it shows is altered, the same happens with mobile screens when they fall and crack". Or The map , "because all stories always begin with a map".

Michael Lawton was born in Sheffield (United Kingdom), but has been living and working in Barcelona for almost a decade. Recently, he has exhibited at 38b Projects (London), SWAB Art Fair (Barcelona), Window Space Gallery (London), Yellow (Varese), Five Years Gallery (London), Addaya Center d'Art Contemporani (Mallorca), Sobering Gallery ( Paris), Le Cabinete Dentaire (Paris) and Passatge Studio (Barcelona). He has also published texts in The Happy Hypocrite , Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture , The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing and The Burning Sand .

Pictured: Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. Self-reflected . 2014-2016. Courtesy of the artists

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