The exhibition In the Beginning takes its cue from the strong involvement West-coast artists have had with text, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s, and looks at a newer international generation of artists whose practice focuses as much on appearance and form as much as what the words say.
In the Beginning features the work of 20 artists from Europe and America in a range of media including painting, sculpture and video. Collectively they reflect a cross section of contemporary approaches and subjects.
For Peter Davies, Monique Prieto and Aaron Parazette words and phrases become the very thing they paint, while Cerith Wyn Evans and Maya Schindler use words and text as sculptural form that is both a representation and a physical manifestation of itself. Jesus Aguilar and Fiona Banner both compress and expand our experience of time, while Rici Albenda distorts text in order to propose new perspectives. Graham Gillmore and Emma Kay employ the layering and interconnectivity of text to evoke ideas and memories where as Justin Lieberman and Dominic McGill are concerned with its use as a tool to investigate and reveal contemporary society, politics and culture. João Louro, T. Kelly Mason, and Ján Mancuška engage with the possibility of narrative, while Bob & Roberta Smith, Danielle Gustafson-Sundell and Mark Titchner offer stories, musings and slogans, and Fernando Pintado and Tami Demaree both represent and question language as an authentic carrier of expression.