PROJECT ROOM: PATRICK HAMILTON
28 JANUARY – 14 MAY 2016.
“Art should not go toward reduction or simplification, it should go to toward complexity”
The 9.99 Gallery is pleased to present “Black Tools,” the first solo exhibition in the gallery by the Madrid-based, Chilean artist Patrick Hamilton.
True to the conceptual nature of his work, Hamilton refers to the political history of his country through a series of collages and sculptures, which he has produced in the last year, and which broadens and deepens his aesthetic reflections on major issues affecting contemporary societies, particularly those that refer to labor and social inequality in Chile in recent years.
These reflections analyze the consequences of the “neoliberal revolution” (Thomas Moulian) implemented in Chile by Pinochet — and the “Chicago School” — during the eighties and its projection in the social and cultural milieu in a post-dictatorship Chile; they result in works that can be read from the notion of “social forms” (Christian Viveros-Fauné), thanks to their economy of expressive resources and their deep bond with the analysis of social, political, and economic phenomena. Hamilton’s production could be described as realist art in relation to the exaltation of the physical qualities of his works, as well as a consideration of the concrete phenomena of our social reality.
Through the manipulation of tools used for manual labor, the artist creates objects that represent and act as metaphors in the increasingly precarious world labor economy. The formal character of the work is provided by another of Hamilton’s great source of inspiration: the History of Art. So, is the work of the constructivists, concrete art, and Suprematism — in this case Kasimir Malevich’s emblematic black square — which serves as a link between the economy of gestures and means, the use of monochrome and the formal rigor with spatulas, pikes, and sandpaper, which leave behind their functionality and remain at the mercy of anyone who wants to contemplate them.
The placement of the works in the space resembles a shadow theater, with pieces that disguise their materiality and communication function, a contradiction between the visible and invisible, transparent and opaque, opposites that in contemporary societies contribute to the concealment of problems of unemployment, shadow economies, and illegal work that become a precarious solution to the lives of millions of individuals.
In the collages of the “Abrasive Paintings” (2015) series made with acrylic and black sandpaper, we see the most direct quote to Malevich’s painting. The grid formed by the sandpaper, resembling a wall, in addition to its monochrome appearance, speaks of an extensible “pictorial” surface that suggests the idea of ??a continuum, of infinity, and expresses the will to restrict the means employed to a maximum, in an aesthetic economy that is both formal and conceptual.
Patrick Hamilton (1974, Leuven, Belgium). Lives and works in Madrid. He graduated in Arts from the University of Chile. In 2007 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York. In 2006 he completed a residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York.
His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Chile and abroad. His most recent solo exhibition Progreso was at the Marta Cervera Gallery in Madrid (2015). Other exhibitions include: Beleza? San Paulo Cultural Center (2015); Beyond the Supersquare, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, (2014); Slow Future, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland (2014); Project Lanz, FLORA Ars+Natura, Bogotá, Colombia (2014); Progreso, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago, Chile (2013); Pabellón de la Urgencia, Venice Biennale (2013); Ultramar Sur, Paço das Artes, Sao Paulo (2012); Now: Works from The Jumex Collection, Centro Cultural Cabañas, Guadalajara, Mexico (2011); Dublin Contemporary, Dublin, Ireland (2011), 8th and 10th Havana Biennial (2003 and 2009), 2nd Prague Biennale (2005), 26th Bienal de São Paulo (2004).
His work is in public and private collections, including La Colección Jumex, Mexico City; El Museo, New York; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile; Space Collection (Sayago & Pardon), Irvine, California; and Museum DKM, Duisburg, Germany.