Brad Winchester: “RINSE/REPEAT”

Brad Winchester

January 4 to February 24, 2018

Reception for the Artist: Thursday, January 4th, 6-8PM
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 6th at 11AM

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present our first solo exhibition with Seattle artist Brad Winchester entitled “RINSE/REPEAT.” For this exhibition, the artist includes a suite of wall hanging textile pieces made from reworked painter’s linen and framing materials. Trained as a painter, Winchester is always interested in the deep-rooted history of the medium, but his practice has long since taken a conceptual turn that challenges these constructs by emphasizing process and materiality. Over the past several years, the artist has developed his mixed media practice that relies on the experiential relationship to art objects, often playing with unique and unexpected modes of display. His works have an animate corporeal quality that confronts the viewer in their own bodily space while participating in a more philosophical discourse around how art functions via its materiality.

Winchester’s practice is defined by his relationship with material processes and repetition. The work begins with the conceptual exercise of deconstruction, where the artist pulls apart the weft and warp of painter’s linen to open up a new relationship with this classic material. He then laboriously reconstructs the material by weaving it back together in specific patterns and coarseness. He then puts the reconstructed material through multiple sessions of dying and bleaching, until tone and color resonate with his sensibility. The linen is then carefully transplanted and restretched over frame like structures constructed out of hand milled yellow cedar. In Winchester‘s small scaled work, he has applied white paint onto his reconstructed object, covering the rewoven fabric which was scaled to a golden rectangle.

Winchester’s conceptual process-based practice has roots in Post-Minimalist concerns, where experiential materiality and attention to framing devices disrupt medium specificity and hierarchical modes of art viewing. His deconstructionist approach to his materials relates to the Post-Minimalist concept of “anti-form,” where structure and form are dictated by the properties of untraditional art materials. By deconstructing the raw materials used in traditional painting and presenting them as art objects in themselves, Winchester reveals the beautiful nature of the mundane. His methods of display are also unique and self-reflexive in design, either denying the use of a frame or proposing a sculptural sensibility to the frame that becomes an integral part of the work.

The pieces in this exhibition function as relics of Winchester’s process of investigation into the nature of things. His construction of the integrated frames and concern for how his works are displayed speaks to his understanding of how material qualities are sensed, interpreted and understood. The artist relies on the nature of his materials and his own intuition and sensibilities to determine form in his work. The result is unmediated objects that demonstrate how art can successfully present both an idea and a unique visceral experience.

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