Abject Failures
Imogen Taylor, Sam Clague, George Watson, Dan Arps and Campbell Patterson

Hastings City Art Gallery, 17 November 2017 – 18 January 2018

Every month, a millennial population the size of Russia actively contributes to Instagram. The glare of ‘now’ burns through flat, backlit blue-white screens glowing hot with a spectacular immediacy. It is fast, flat, filtered and scrollable. It is forced through an Internet sieve that compresses time, borders, history and memory. Today, contemporary art exists mostly as smooth and low res jpegs. It is projected and played on loop. But is it a success, this new way in which we experience art? Or is the loss of tactility in art ultimately an abject failure?

Abject Failures is a group exhibition that brings together five emerging and established New Zealand artists who work predominantly between the fields of painting and sculpture, resisting pressure to adapt and conform to screen-based trends. Georgina Watson’s slumping candle wax, Dan Arps’ sagging spray paint, Sam Clague’s moulding casts, Campbell Patterson’s dry brush work and Imogen Taylor’s lumpy paint on canvas are examples of five unique processes rich in an ambiguity. The works in this exhibition de-flatten and re-enrich contemporary art by pushing material boundaries and using a mixed media approach to resist competitive image ecologies and turn contemporary notions of the abject upside down.

Sam Clague, Taste Nature (2018)