Galerie Jérôme Pauchant is delighted to present the London-based artist Nathaniel Rackowe’s solo exhibition, entitled Edge Lands, with new sculptures and wall based works from the SP series (Scaffolding Pieces) and the NLP series (Neon Light Pieces), from December 18, 2014 to February 14, 2015.
Nathaniel Rackowe’s work has been exhibited throughout the world: from the U.S. and U.K. to also China, Bogota, Copenhagen and Bangkok. Recent exhibitions of note include his participation to the successful exhibition Dynamo at the Grand Palais, Paris, in 2013, also exhibitions at the Delfina Foundation in London, at MoCA in Miami and at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center. His work is part of many international collections including: Jumex, Mexico, LVMH, Paris, Hauser & Wirth, London and Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami.
By its use of pure geometric lines and the limited range of colours, Rackowe’s work is undeniably minimalist. Worthy successor of the ABC Arti and other artistic movements from the American 60’s, he follows the neon masters, such as Piotr Kowalski, by appreciating architecture with the use of the light, and like the artist Dan Flavin, by provoking the awareness of colour in space. The radiance produced by the light bulb reveals the ability of the viewer’s perception and the de-formation of the real space. The neon light becomes a tool that shows the non-substantial, a memory-based form pertained to architecture which unveils its environment.
Therefore, there is a metamorphosis of the frame, revealing a connection of the work within space. This interaction transforms the aesthetics and even the meaning of the work. It extends its field of action.
In addition, the importance of the line and the interaction of the form with the architecture in Rackowe’s work both evoke constructivism. The fluorescent tubing is closely linked to urbanism and modernity. The materials used in the SP series, assembled fluorescent light bulbs, scaffolding pipes and couplers, are directly related to the boldness of building sites. They outline the work’s shape, while the glow produced by the neon blurs the lines.
The title of the exhibition refers to « Edgelands », a non-fiction book by Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley published in 2011ii. The meaning of the term “edgelands” lies in the city’s outskirts, the interfacial zone between urban and rural, the space where city and countryside fray into one another, between architecture and nature. This path where the city starts to deconstruct leaves us at the edge of the urban world and the “bastard countryside” depicted by Victor Hugo.
Nathaniel Rackowe’s work tries to reveal this transition space. The artist « attempts to capture the way the light transforms these environments, the NLP series defines space by using a lit permitted, the space or “land’ within is defined by its glowing edge. The light, this undefined space that extends the work out of its frame and specifies the direct interaction with its environment, refers to the half-built and transitory landscapes described in “Edgelands”. Thus, the peripheral area becomes crucial and part of the work.
i ABC ART, Barbara Rose, in Art in America, October 1965.
ii Edgelands, Symmons Roberts Michael & Farley Pauk, Jonathan Cape/Random House Group, London, 2011.