Katie Paterson
Snow  Shot from 100 Trees

Andrew Stahl

8 November - 15 December, 2007
Wednesday-Friday 12-6, Saturday 12-4

Reception for the artists: Wednesday 7 November, 6-8 pm

Matthew Bown Gallery is pleased to announce concurrent exhibitions by  Katie Paterson and Andrew Stahl.

Katie  Paterson's Snow  Shot from 100 Trees records the artist's  passage through Epping Forest, shooting snow off the branches of trees with a  catapault. A microphone beneath each tree recorded the sound of the falling  snow, and the 100 events are played back in the gallery in a single track that  lasts approximately 17 minutes.

Paterson's work explores landscape by  means of technology. Her work addresses the sublime, but involves a  withholding of the visual. This withholding suggests not only the tiredness of  landscape representation in painting or photography but also that attempts to  capture, domesticate or otherwise bridge the gap to landscape are inherently  futile. We are left with a sense of insurmountable distance between ourselves  and geological reality, and our intimacy, such as it is, with this reality is  mediated by fragile technology.

Paterson graduated this year from the  Slade School of Fine Art. Her recent works include Earth-Moon-Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface  of the Moon) - the transmission of Beethoven's  Moonlight Sonata to the moon and back, the resultant fragmented composition  being played back on a computer-controlled grand-piano; and Vatnajökull (the sound of), which involved the installation in an Icelandic glacier of a  microphone connected to a mobile phone: the phone could be called from all  over the world. She will be showing in the MOMA Oxford Encounters series in  April 2008.

Much of Andrew Stahl's recent work  reflects on travels to Japan and Thailand and addresses the conflation of  time, space and cultures that long-haul travel brings about. The show at  Matthew Bown Gallery consists of a single large painting, measuring 9 by 13  feet, entitled Parasol, the image of a geisha against the freely-painted background  of a willow-tree.

Parasol deals with the  construction of identity in paint. Its focal point is the face of the geisha,  which looks out from under under a red-and-white parasol of heraldic  intensity. A geisha's face is not really that of an individual: it is, in a  sense, itself a painting, constructed from layer upon layer of make-up  ("greasepaint", to use a theatrical term) under which any sense of personality  disappears. A geisha's clothing, too, is a dense layering, a drapery  confection that evokes the work of window-dressers or still-life artists while  effectively obliterating the real body. Stahl's painting, while nominally the  image of a human being (his wife), concentrates attention on the artifice and  convention that attends all representation.

Andrew Stahl has exhibited  widely in the UK and abroad. He has shown recently at 100 Tonson Gallery in  Bangkok and had a one-person show earlier this year at Robert Steele Gallery,  New York. In December he will be artist-in-residence at Guangzhou Academy of  Fine Art, China.

Andrew Stahl, Parasol, 2007, oil on canvas, 274 x 396 cm.

Katie Paterson, excerpt from Snow Shot from 100 Trees, 2007, LP, 17 minutes approx. Click image to play.