“The way that I am creating the works leaves many small aesthetic mysteries that are only really revealed once the work is sewn together and stretched—that’s when it all comes together and I get to encounter it fully.”
Peres Projects is pleased to present Brent Wadden’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery.
Brent Wadden describes his abstract woven work as paintings and works almost entirely with limited quantities of pre-used fibers sourced second hand. The amount of a given thread dictates the spectrums of color and this attitude of “make do and mend” is one Wadden has long observed in the small communities of his native Nova Scotia, where many folk artists work with materials they have directly at hand.
Wadden’s painting practice begins with drawings on paper, which serve as the study for his large scale woven paintings. As he shifts between mediums, Wadden synthesizes abstract painting and folk art, pursuing aesthetic works that explore the potential for beauty through ritual and intuition. These works prioritize the viewer’s gaze, working with color and pattern to provide a rich visual field that is both monumental and idiosyncratic.
Through their repeated geometric shapes and symmetry, Wadden’s paintings present formal and conceptual references to modernist abstraction, while simultaneously challenging the conventions of weaving. As a self-taught weaver, Wadden’s process is exploratory, laborious and has expanded over the years through trial and error to include complex forms and unexpected color combinations . The works disclose a duality between the visual rhythm of a machine, and the disruptive trace of the handmade. Wadden’s choice of materials furthers his complex approach to this traditional art form.
Sometimes the works take months to make, and Wadden encounters the final composition of the painting when it is unfurled from the loom. The way the composition and textures have shifted are often a surprise, and Wadden’s practice explores this possibility for expression and glitch that the rhythm of the warp and weft allow.
Recent solo presentations include Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, curated by Kimberly Phillips, and Peres Projects, Berlin. Wadden has also participated in a number of group exhibitions including at the Rubell Museum, Miami, and the Museum of Modern Art, Gunma. This summer, Wadden will present a solo exhibition at Peres Projects, Berlin.