T293, Rome
23 March – 27 April 2019

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American artist Ethan Cook returns to T293 gallery with a new project entitled ‘Bands’ that presents a series of recent works marking the evolution of his artistic production over the past years. Cotton woven works, consisting of horizontal and recurrent vast stripes of colors combined by sewing, will be disseminated on the walls of the gallery, in a divergent palette of vibrant reds and oranges, pink and green, up to the deepest blue, brown and to the darkest black.

Painting flatness has been an important element of the spectator’s experience of the work of art since the advent of the Modern art, where the observer is supposed to appreciate the act of painting itself.
At the core of Ethan Cook’s research there is the interest in permeation of meaning into the material by the act of making it. This making process appear to be a performative way to combine a gestural movement with the movement of a machine, letting error and imperfections to be a natural result of the whole procedure.

So close to abstract paintings, Cook’s practice goes yet so far beyond it.
The flatness of the canvas becomes a surface in which to create an apparent infinite space, by following a structural simplicity and proportion, and looking for a spatial depth. His compositions create a dialogue between colors and forms that are made by the artist himself with the traditional act of weaving canvases on a loom. The ‘bands’ compositions reflect a balanced relationship of elements, which are able to instill the impression of an almost tactile artwork.

Ethan Cook (b. 1983, Texas, USA) lives and works in New York City.

Entitled like a cut-up or découpé and held together by the format of the exhibition, the series by Erica Mahinay momentarily takes the shape of a single piece before facing a future of separation, distance, and reconfiguration. Repetition points to a continual process of becoming within this new series of monochromatic works in which the hand sets the scale for the world through visceral gestures and imprints. These gestures break away from the idea of gesture as mark-making or the desire to leave an individual stamp, and instead, integrate transparency and material interaction through an intimate act of discovery. Sewn finger holes create an opportunity to think about entering the picture plane— entering an image… trying on and wearing an image. These paintings are sincere reminders that surface and image are a construct. Improvisation and evidence of the hand become a means to recall authorship as a fictive process, a search for an image— groping and slipping into being.

Erica Mahinay (b. 1986, Santa Fe, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles, US.

ERICA MAHINAY, Contingent 
ERICA MAHINAY, Contingent 

Installation at T293, Rome
Ph. Roberto Apa

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