Kristaps Ancāns’s practice is modelled on scientific enquiry, following a methodology in which experimental analysis of the properties and functional limits of materials and systems form the bases of absurdist conceptual games. His sculptures and installations often contain a kinetic component - repetitious movements explore relationships between static/passive and kinetic/active components. The deployment of language is equally integral to his approach. If mechanics and newly invented materials are the immediately tangible components of his work, text is the primary vehicle for its cerebral dimension, where logic is disrupted and nonsensical statements carry a certain level of inner pathos. His works pose themselves as questions rather than statements, unsure of their own status, calling into doubt their relationship with the viewer. They maintain a precariously balanced point where formal values, physical laws and allusive references are all set in play – on the brink of undermining each other but all the while holding together in a disconcerting harmony.

James Tailor uses mundane and discarded objects and materials alongside meticulous manual production processes to produce a form of material allegory - assemblages that articulate deeply personal reflections on experience and the world. The objects he uses convey an inherent sadness and a sense of anticipation: it is precisely this feeling that attracts him, because of a connection with his own life experiences. These objects are then paired with acrylic paint, which he obsessively reworks into malleable skeins of densely coloured, monochrome self-made material. Through draping, sculpting, casting or pleating the paint he reacts to the tensions inherent in the materials, which mirror the foldings of his own personal traumas. When manipulating the form, he considers colour, balance, composition and the matt or gloss quality of the surface, making it possible to direct it toward suggestions of the body, skin, entrapment, escape, fetish, intercourse, illness and mortality, all of which have a potential to be present in any given work.

Ancāns and Tailor are both recent graduates from the MA Fine Art course at Central Saint Martins. They were recipients of the Helen Scott Lidgett award in 2016 and 2017 respectively and participants in the Acme Graduate Programme.




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Kristaps Ancāns / James Tailor

24 November - 2 December 2018
Open: Sat-Sun 1-6pm
Preview: Friday 23 November 6-9pm


Five Years presents new work by Kristaps Ancāns and James Tailor. Both artists work at the intersection of painting, sculpture and installation: combining laborious and painstaking material processes with found objects and functionless machinery, their enigmatic assemblages invoke a forlorn beauty.