Paula McLoughlin - 'Conversational'

Wednesday 8 - Sunday 26 November 2017

Click here for artwork by Paula McLoughlin

'I have been ‘playing’ with the circular and target motifs for some time – It is an avenue of my practice that gives me a bit of space and solace. It started as a tribute to the idea of calm repetitiveness and seductions of surfaces and colour. A salute to a hero of mine – Jasper Johns – I sheepishly dared to put forward a small tribute to the idea that sometimes there is a point where the subject and the ideas of the artwork are not as important as the fact that the work exists.

Over the years the reasons for the making the prints have moved, they had become illustrations of exchanges, imagined conversations between Josef Albers and Jasper Johns. I have no evidence that the two ever conversed but Josef did teach Robert Rauschenberg, and Rauschenberg had an intimate relationship with Johns. So is it not so hard to believe that there may have been, somewhere between studio and pillow talk a conversation between Robert and Jasper that Josef came into. The two young artists laughing at Josef and his Bauhaus moves, as they took over the world with their Neo Dada ways.

I imagined that Joseph and Jasper would be a push me pull me type conversations Josef with his artwork as lessons [Homage to a Square] and Jasper with his contradictions and no meanings [hmm the target and flags] Josef was strict in his approach, planned and purposeful, it was about the relationship of colour. The square was the vehicle to show us the function and perception of colour illustrating the optical and psychological effects that colour alone.produces. The square held no symbolic meaning, these were glorious lessons of colour and spatial relationships, painted in a very particular manner, colours touched they never overlapped. Jasper is full of symbols but seemingly little meaning – the art was for itself, the critical discourse attached itself in hindsight in part driven by the symbols used. Did it matter that it was a flag or a target, the art simply existed - you finish it off.

In the past I considered I simply observing these exchanges but of course imagined conversations have the potential to constantly change so with this set of prints I think Joseph is receding from the conversation. There is no real push me pull me with these prints I think these prints are more sombre and reflective they aim to just exist.'

Paula McLoughlin, November 2017