LAY[ER][ED]] _ RICHARD SCOTT
17 new works created over a 3 month period, describe an exploration through fundamental elements of dimensional representation; point, line, form and its subsequent development through subtraction. The layering of spaced acrylic sheets containing simple and sometimes more complex elements creates a dynamic richness through the affects of superimposition, refraction, and internal & external reflection. Through the parallax effect of layering, the viewer is invited to peer into the constructions; exploring a series of fragmented habitats, synthetic landscapes and fluid cityscapes. Zooming into these vignettes reveals an imaginary geology of contour shelves, exploded to declare their artifice making an uncanny nature of exaggerated striation. Oblique views, reveal explicitly the stacked composition in counterpoint to front views where graphic superimposition dominates.
The front acrylic surface is generally left clear, with colour applied to its rear, in order to leave its surface free to transmit light into the piece and to encourage reflections. Unlike exhibition convention, reflection is embraced, inducing movement, connection and engagement into viewing. Rear mirrors are used throughout with additional mirror elements sometimes appearing on middle layers to enhance the affect of spatial ambiguity. The printed surface is occasionally revealed on the front face of the acrylic to present a stark, matt finish against the surrounding clear acrylic.
Repetition, explored through the multiplicity of 3, 4 or 5 layers in each work, and through the recurrence of elements recombined evokes the process music of Serialist composers such as Steve Reich.
POINT (Red Stack Series)
The ‘Red Stack’ Series takes the simplest of elements, a red disk in transparent vinyl film, representing the singular aspect of the coordinate point (or 0,0,0) and repeats them throughout the stack. On ‘Red Stack 1’ the point is repeated 10 times, with each in the same ‘origin’ position, or ‘in phase’, suggesting an implied tubular extrusion, extended through the reflection of the rear mirror. As the series progresses, these points drift increasingly out of phase. The effect of phase-shifting is a tendency towards formlessness; suggesting smoke, clouds and the mixing of fluids.
LINE (Rhizome Series)
The line dimension is treated here as the point moving from A to B through a figure of typically 5 vertices. Circular line terminators and vertices retain the geometry of the point to reinforce the presence of the point in motion. The ‘Rhizome Series’ of 6 pieces feature an accumulation of figures, superimposed to create an improbable landscape of contradictions, in a process-driven composition of feedback loops.
Each work, in the universal square format of Piet Mondrian, is always just a fragment of endless manifestation. Figure and ground partially invert in a field-effect of lines and shapes which re-appear as echoes throughout the stack. The superimposition of figures seen at different scales recalls Charles and Ray Eames’ ‘Powers of Ten’ and hints at perspective inducing movement towards and around the work. The effect is like prizing apart the sequence of layers from an abstract expressionist painting, say Willem de Kooning’s ‘River’ or Jackson Pollack’s ‘Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)’. The hard distinctness of graphic elements assigned to each layer is contrasted by the effects of reflection and diffusion which draw these elements together in a painterly sense as the angle of view changes.
FORM (Cubes Series)
In an explicit reference to Cubist painting, the ‘Cubes’ Series expresses the shift from 2d to 3d, again with the simplest of forms, the cube, seen from five view angles, as an abstract symbol of form. The repetition of these layers creates a ‘field-effect’, similar to that in the ‘Rhizome’ Series. Here the distinctness of each layer is held on through distinct colour and a gradual increase in the line weight through the stack, in contrast to the architectural convention of line weights signifying sectional contact.
The development of form is characterised through simple subtraction from it using similarly abstract forms in a reference to the deconstruction of Peter Eisenman’s ‘Houses I to X’. In the works ‘Before to After’, angular forms are subtracted progressively towards the back layer, capturing the gradual process of erosion through time.