David Noonan Origami

131 March 2012

6 rue St-Georges | St-Jorisstraat

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Xavier Hufkens is pleased to present the exhibition ‘Origami’ by David Noonan. It is the first solo exhibition of the artist in the gallery.

David Noonan's work (°1969, Ballarat, Australia) has something obscure. Each image is a collage of various images: old photos, film stills and documentary material. He takes a photo of this collage which he then manually serigraphs on canvas. This results in surreal looking scenes. Noonan depicts characters like harlequins, clowns, dancers or mime artists. They are in fancy dress, made up and often wear a mask. They take reserved, almost melancholic poses, as lifeless as puppets.

Although it is monochrome the work of David Noonan makes a dramatic impression. The characters seem to be involved in a show or performance. As a counter part to the photos he uses geometrical patterns which remind of modernist paintings, and are inspired by Japanese boro textile. He also plays with the texture of the canvases. The various layers that compose them are the result of a manual method of cutting and gluing. The pieces of fabric that are affixed together and the patterns they create give the work a unique, physical feature.  

This physical, almost sculptural feature that David Noonan aims for with his work, transpires from the self-explanatory title of the exhibition. For ‘Origami’ he not only cut and glued pieces of textile, but also folded and pleated them. That provides an unparalleled spatial effect. By having a number of characters returning throughout the exhibition the relation between the works is even more reinforced.

The work of David Noonan evokes various cultural references, among others to expressionism, romanticism, modernism and cinematography. Via photo montages and a play with space and texture he brings this broad artistic culture together into a new whole to which he adds his own fantasies. This leads to a special mise-en-scène, where he connects opposite terms: public and personal space, fiction and realism, history and materialism.

David Noonan lives and works in London. He exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Renaissance Society, Chicago; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne and others. His work was also included in several group exhibitions including the 6th Busan Biennale in Busan, Korea; ‘Altermodern’, Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London; 17th Biennale of Sydney, ‘The Beauty of Distance, Songs of Survival’, Sydney; ‘Tableaux, Principe d’incertitude’, Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble; ‘King Rat’, Projects Arts Centre, Dublin; ‘Beg, Borrow and Steal’, Rubell Family Collection, Miami and others.

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