ALL OF THIS AND MORE OR LESS..................................Gegory Reynolds, Halifax NS, June 2002

all of this and more or less…

New work by Gregory Reynolds
Opening Friday June 21, 2002

Curated by Colleen Heslin
Essay by Christine Swintak

Wile most contemporary collaborative work still depends largely on the two-party process, Gregory Reynolds’ recent body of work, all of this and more or less…, sets the stage as an internal collaboration; the work performs as evidence of an interior dialogue, a classic duel of the old vs. new as mediated by the commercial monism of the surrounding world.

Upon first look the work appears as a strange cross between frosted lucky charms and medieval pedophilic doodles; it looks as if the imagery has been contributed by two separate sources, one of which seems to have a more cautiously developed language of aesthetic icons, while the other has a sort of garish spontaneity and childish defiance.  Each end of the dichotomy operates its own aestheticized language complete with a particular style of mark-making and set of colours’ the first layer showing delicate and strangely placed fine intaglio lines and patches of modest color, while the other displays thick and somewhat crude hand drawn lines and globs of often garish candy-colors.  Gone are the frames, the frosted matte glass and other such stylish framing devices’ the prints are at the artist’s request, crudely stapled to the walls in arrows of one after the other in any given order.

Mutated phrases re-emerge throughout the work.  Phrases referencing commercialism like “this space for rent” and “the thing that won’t let you leave the mall without buying anything” fluctuate between both the layers and the prints, paired with more non-sensical somewhat sexualized phrases like, “I want to be your milkman” and “deluxe babe”.  Reynolds’ interior dialogue, however apparent, materializes through the prints as somewhat muddy and not altogether clear, offering no answers as to which end of the dialogue is better or more correct, or even if the two sides in essence are different at all.

As viewers of the work we are invited to witness the evidence of this dialogue, the spectacle of the artist surfacing as a dog chasing his own tail, driven to undermine the surrounding pitfalls of his developments, but locked within the usage of aestheticized languages and co modifiable forms,  As witnesses we are probed to wonder what causes such a shifting thinking, and what qualifies the two sides of the dichotomy, what way is best if any?  Gregory Reynolds offers no answer to this question, as he too seems caught in between a lust for the beauty of an imaginary language and the ugliness of how such languages are usually employed.
By Christine Swintak

Gregory Reynolds, printmaking installation
Gregory Reynolds, printmaking installation
Gregory Reynolds, printmaking installation (details)
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