What You Can’t See is a joint show exhibiting the work of two artists. One is Aglaé Bassens, a painter whose works have been displayed at the Saatchi Gallery, and who was selected by Kurt Beers as one of the artists for the book 100 Painters of Tomorrow. The other is Eric Oglander, whose viral blog craigslistmirrors.com has drawn the attention of The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vice Motherboard, and has been described by art critic Jerry Saltz as “a great artist” and “Mr. Craig S Liszt.”
It is rare to meet an artist who unites skill with thought—who joins expertise with the ability to explain his or her work. It is even rarer to meet two such artists, and it seems an embarrassment of riches that they should both agree to mount a joint show at the Revue Gallery. Aglaé Bassens and Eric Oglander share a particular sensibility attuned to the pointless, the stark, and the empty. Their works attend to the bleak, and amongst their pictures the only redemption to be found—the only solace from desolation—is in their taste and their talent. Both artists investigate the nature of artistic selection in their work and, if you look closely enough, they might show you moments of artistic revelation amidst the drab mundane.
Aglaé Bassens paints pictures of empty aquariums in translucent colours; of the drops of water on the windscreen of a car; of cowboys endlessly lassoing cowboys lassoing cowboys lassoing cowboys on wallpaper, and in which the patterns of the sheets don’t quite match up at the seams. Mostly in oil, her pictures betray both the painterly qualities of a woman who graduated with Distinction from an MFA at the Slade, and the intellectualism of one who left Oxford with a First.
Eric Oglander collects photographs of mirrors advertised for sale on Craigslist, and displays these pictures on his website, craigslistmirrors.com. What results is a gallery of human life and the beauty of the natural world; one mirror shows the photographer hiding his face in embarrassment or shyness; another catches two children fooling around on the sofa behind the camerawoman in a dreary American home; another still frames a bright green forest astonishingly leaning against the side of a beaten grey sedan. The pictures Eric selects with the obsessiveness of a collector are interested in surprising, complex, or revealing spatial configurations, and in finding the aesthetic amongst the ordinary.
Both of these artists paint or select pictures that are interested in the drab, and the moments of beauty which arise out of it—the revelations that arise from certain kinds of boredom, or certain kinds of loss—as well as those moments where the drab is ruptured by beauty—when a forest held inside a frame is leant against a car. For an investigation into what constitutes art which attends to the framing of pictures themselves, and which might, if you look closely enough, show you the kinds of revelation that are to be found latent in the ordinary, come to What You Can’t See at the Revue Gallery on the 25th of February. It promises to be a fine exhibition and is not to be missed.
What You Can’t See: 25th of February until the 27th of March the Revue Gallery, London