This Scrim Became One
NICK ALBERTSON, Lines and Shadows, 2019, archival inkjet print, 31 x 25 inches, edition of 5 + 1 AP
MATTHEW GIRSON, Excavation #6, 2019, oil, enamel and alkyd on Alupanel, 42 x 32 inches
NICK ALBERTSON, Layered Circles, 2019, archival inkjet print, 31 x 25 inches, edition of 5 + 1 AP
MATTHEW GIRSON, Excavation Installation #1, 2020, latex, enamel, and acrylic directly on wall with mirrors, 54 x 86 inches overall
NICK ALBERTSON, Strokes, 2019, archival inkjet print, 31 x 25 inches, edition of 5 + 1 AP
MATTHEW GIRSON, Excavation Butterfly #2, 2019, enamel and alkyd on 2 mirror panels, 16 x 12 inches overall
NICK ALBERTSON, Squares on Squares, 2019, archival inkjet print, 31 x 25 inches, edition of 5 + 1 AP
MATTHEW GIRSON, Excavation Butterfly #3, 2019, enamel and alkyd on 2 mirror panels, 16 x 12 inches overall
MATTHEW GIRSON, Excavation #1, 2018, oil, enamel and alkyd on canvas, 27 x 42 inches
MATTHEW GIRSON, Excavation Butterfly #3 Study, 2019, enamel and acrylic on paper, 30 x 22 inches
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THIS SCRIM BECAME ONE
Nick Albertson & Matthew Girson
01.10.2020 - 03.14.2020
"This scrim became one intricate
fanned fisted fleetness.
Howl for the manliest idiot.
Putrefy in a ripe infinite of vengeance."
Aspect/Ratio is pleased to present This Scrim Became One, a two person exhibition with Nick Albertson and Matthew Girson. The poem above was crafted by the artist Matthew Girson and is an anagram derived from a sentence in Clement Greenberg’s 1961 essay Modernist Painting. The original sentence is below. Albertson and Girson both make work that refers back to modernist painting pictorially without embracing the themes that were championed by Greenberg and other advocates of late modern, American abstract painting. Albertson’s photographs make use of mass-produced everyday objects to reference non-representational forms associated with Modernist painting. Using tape, straws, and other mundane objects to stand in for brush strokes, he pokes fun at the self-seriousness of painting. The objects Albertson photographs are analogous to photography itself, an easily reproducible medium that, through its very omnipresence often disappears into the background of our lives. By using identifiable objects to visually reference non-representational painting, Albertson explores the limits of the ability of photography to be purely abstract. Girson’s monochrome paintings may appear to be purely formalist, but patient inspection reveals photo-based images as their sources. The photographs he works from are pictures he’s taken of exhibitions of abstract painting. That is, he makes representational paintings about abstraction. His limited palette shares qualities with many late modernists, but by using only silver paints his paintings reflect everything in front of them: the gallery, the visitors, the other works in the show. This work reflects modernist values literally and figuratively. Collectively Albertson and Girson ask questions about the legacy of modernist painting in order to reframe how it informs contemporary discussions of photography and painting.
The sentence from the Greenberg essay is, “Purity meant self-definition and the enterprise of self-criticism in the arts became one of self-definition with a vengeance.” (Forum Lectures, Voice of America, Washington, DC, 1960)