Foxy Production is pleased to present Gabriel Hartley’s Posing, 2014, his third solo exhibition at the gallery. Posing’s expansive paintings create a color-saturated and highly textured installation that brings action and figuration to the fore. Each canvas has some sense of mirroring within its structure, as if its figures are in effect “posing” for themselves or for others to view. While mining the history of abstract painting, Hartley has produced an environment alive with bodily shapes moving in and out of their backgrounds, suggesting beings intimately interacting, His paintings are performative, both in terms of their surfaces – in the energy of their brushstrokes, impasto, and abrasions – and in the interweaving of their corporeal forms.
Posing pushes Hartley’s work into new areas of dynamic figuration. In the main gallery space four expansive paintings confront the viewer. The two largest, Cromer and Skim, recall Monet and Pollock in both their scale and composition. All the works in the exhibition share a fluid, transitional nature; their lively mix of motifs suggesting heads, mouths or elongated limbs gives them a decidedly rhapsodic feel. Their many layers of coloring and lines make it difficult to focus on one particular area of the canvas, giving a sense of optical fluctuation. They hold a persistent friction between foreground and background, and between flatness and depth, as if each element is in contest with the other.
Installation photography: Mark Woods.