Apparatus: Matthew Smith & Jason Tessier
18th May – 22nd June 2024.

Projects Twenty Two have brought together Matthew Smith and Jason Tessier for the first in a series of duo exhibitions that aim to promote artistic dialogue. Although both artists live and work in London, they had not met before, nor were they familiar with each other’s work. However, they share distinct similarities in their approaches, with both being interested in the potentials and boundaries of surface quality.

In Matthew’s work this is seen in the almost perverse tension of high gloss glaze and the craggy coarseness of untreated clay. For Jason, mediums are used in the ‘wrong’ way in order to enhance his complex layering. For example, acrylic paint is watered down and made soft, oil pastel is used for a sharp line.

Both have achieved their work through a deliberate economy of means. Perpetual rhythms have paradoxically enabled a nuanced output, realising works that are at once a product of abandon and order; structural clarity in one sense, disruption in another.

It can also be said that they harness melodrama and make responses to the consequences of pressure. Matthew’s twists and undulations, that appear as if squeezed from a tube, have been solidified in the hostile environment of a kiln, shrunk to their limits. For Jason, a comparable tension exists in the ideas and perceptions of bordering, from the external perimeter of the canvas to the internal boundaries of the painted edges within, he has created willing responses to imposed constraint.

The works on display here are about nothing other than artistic process and material exploration. There are no clever mysteries to unravel, instead the works are like apparatus, functioning as a means of punctuating space and interrupting the flows of life.

Apparatus: Matthew Smith & Jason Tessier is curated by Dr Matt Retallick
@septicfinger / @jason__tessier / @matt_retallick / @projectstwentytwo