Material Object: Pop Up | Michael Dell, Chauncey Flay & Lætitia Jacquetton

Material Object: Pop Up | Michael Dell, Chauncey Flay & Lætitia Jacquetton

Material/Object: Michael Dell, Chauncey Flay & Lætitia Jacquetton
7-25 September, 2023
Where: 1 Bowen Avenue, Auckland CBD, 1010
Opening Hours:
11 – 6pm Wednesday – Saturday
11- 3pm Sunday
(or by appointment 0211031506)

The presentation features a suite of new works by Michael Dell, Chauncey Flay & Lætitia Jacquetton – three artists known for their attention to material and surface.

A palpable stillness runs through the surfaces of Dell’s work, which seemingly provides the viewer a sense of static and unoccupied space. Subject and non-subject works are rendered with the same meticulous treatment, where the formal distinction between the pictorial and the abstract becomes irrelevant.

Dell’s exposure and elevation of materiality comes from consistent attention to the picture surface through his repeated process of addition and erasure. Fibre and fine irregularities in the linen substrate emerge and draw the eye, while unseen structural aspects, such as the stretcher bar and the edge of the picture plane, are formally brought into view. The beautifully worked surfaces of Dell’s soft-edged gradients and muted pastoral landscapes, cultivate an ambiguity towards the representational subject. In this respect, he creates a passive and impartial space, where the search for meaning is flattened and challenged by the materiality of the surface and the pairing of the pictorial with the abstract.

In contrast. the occupation of material and space is emphasised by Flay by excavating the natural object from its environment. Flay’s deconstruction or natural rock, involves a slow processes of breaking stones and reconstructing them through carving, faceting and polishing. As such, both artists are driven by the fascination to elevate the ordinary.

For this presentation Flay has collaborated with glass artist Lætitia Jacquetton, who has blown hot glass onto Chauncey’s faceted forms. Jacquetton’s hand-blown glass sits effortlessly on Flay’s rough and smooth surfaces, embracing the contours of the rock. There is an almost ironic synergy to these collaborative works, which on the one hand connects two divergent materials, and on the other displays a palpable contraction between the transparent fragility of the glass and solidity of stone. Jacquetton & Flay’s combination of discordant materials, highlights this tension by emphasising both strength and vulnerability, as well as permanence and ephemerality.

Uniting all of these works is an inherent ambiguity between material and object, with the subtle balance between surface and subject.

Contact the gallery for a copy of the exhibition catalogue.