Arcade is pleased to present the second in a series of two-person exhibitions conceived as conversations in sculpture between two cities and two galleries – Arcade (London) and Galerie Tatjana Pieters (Ghent). There is a strong sculptural and materially driven approach amongst the artists working with Pieters that has resonated with several artists in Arcade’s programme. In bringing together an artist from each city, the shows seek to examine this outlook and to unpick some of the similarities and differences. London based John Wallbank found particular affinities with the work of Rein Dufait, a healthy obsession with materials and matter, bending, cutting, scratching, folding, pouring, dripping, weaving; conglomerations of notes to self to explore the space between thinking and doing.
“Dufait’s work comes into being in his studio, almost despite himself, like a virtually autonomous proliferation of the materials and tools a sculptor gathers around him. On numerous objects and materials we recognize the marks of an axe blade, which seemingly serve no purpose but sometimes produce the most unexpected textures. Two months ago I was in his studio and I admired a magnificent gypsum stalactite, with stunningly beautiful drip rings. Dufait told me that full pots of paint were concealed in the stalactite and that he was planning to drill holes in the gypsum and the pots so that the colour would drip out. When I asked about the result, a few weeks later, he told me that initially the sculpture had been really beautiful. He had cut into the sculpture five times with a hatchet and the paint had spilled out just as he had hoped. “What went wrong after that? I asked. “I couldn’t stop cutting”, he laughed.”
Hans Theys, 2012
(excerpt from ‘Rein Dufait’ limited edition artist monograph published by Tornado Editions)
“Structures of wood, rubber, perspex, wire, and clay are holding together forming jury rigged networks, a clunky vernacular architecture shot through with accident. As nodes and limbs constellate this other stuff appears, a kind of reified dark matter of the studio – dirty browny greyish matter that makes up the missing masses. I noticed some on John Wallbanks studio wall; a piece of sheet polythene folded containing what looks like a mixture of insect bore dust and larval pellets. It’s some weird looking sculptural run-off or studio sweepings, all the more odd for having been scooped off the ground and kept in an improvised envelope. Packaged and elevated to eye level for consideration, part entomological specimen part bag of granola. The makeshift envelope and brown particles combine to make a whole – hard to decipher, but an object nonetheless, irreducible and insisting. John and I spoke about the importance of keeping this kind of thing around, – allowing the frass you can’t account for back in to permeate those things you can account for…”
Eoin Donnelly, 2011
(excerpt from his exhibition essay for John Wallbank ‘Masticate’ at Arcade, London)
Rein Dufait (BE, 1990) studies at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent (BE), recent exhibtions include The New Candour ! brought together by Hans Theys for Galerie Tatjana Pieters, Ghent (BE), Oroonoko! Tamara Van San and Rein Dufait, two solo shows intertwined by Hans Theys, Galerie Triangle Bleu, Stavelot (BE) and After Dressing, Croxhapox, Ghent (BE)
John Wallbank (UK, 1976) graduated from the Slade School of Art in 2004 and in 2010 he was awarded the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award. A publication documenting the award, Making is Thinking, is published by Black Dog in the Spring. From March 1-3 Wallbank’s largest sculpture to date will be exhibited at Art 13, Olympia, London in association with Tatjana Pieters Galerie, Ghent (BE) and later this year Wallbank will travel to New York to participate in the Triangle Artists’ Residency Programme.