Berloni Gallery presents ‘BUILD!’, a solo exhibition by English painter Edward Coyle, the show follows the artist’s twelve month residency at the gallery. Coyle’s process revolves around the appropriation of architectural digital imagery, both video and stills, creating a framework for his practice from these various source materials. The artist then implements video, 3D modelling software, and data corruption processes, to form the basis of a painterly study into conjectured histories of built architectural spaces.
Coyle builds environs that ‘could’ encompass the figure. The artist’s practise has process at its heart; Coyle begins with a pre-existing architectural image and works it up on canvas, building the planes of the piece layer upon layer. The artist often takes the image and models it in 3D software in an attempt to resolve the image, then continues his process.
Coyle leaves the trace of this construction in the image, wire-frame constructions, lines, planes converge, challenging the angles in the piece as if almost a hybrid between abstraction and illusion. The artist strips back his paint; removing layers like an architectural version of Callum Innes, or Luc Tuymans – Coyle removes from his works – presenting the viewer with an on-canvas edit of an original image now lost in the history of the piece – a deconstruction.
Coyle’s process is a continual act of rectifying the image, often presenting a hybrid between the language of painting and architecture; grids and slices suggest architectural concerns, but also the concerns of a painter configuring and reconfiguring his work. The artist maps the topography of a fictional space; Coyle splices video of opposing architecture, creating what the artist describes as ruptures and glitches created from a video process called datamoshing. Coyle then paints these fissures into the architectural space of the painting, creating architectural contradictions alluding to a fictional space.
The mark-making in Coyle’s work is a response to the chance glitches ; serendipitous elements that simultaneously contradict the ‘believable fiction’ of the artist’s environs. Coyle alludes to domestic space yet never constructs it; but instead is concerned with populating his works with signifiers of the figure. The paintings suggest space for population by the human form; yet it remains absent in all but a few of the artist’s works.
When Coyle’s figures do appear they have a slight Baconian quality in their relationship with the constructed space. The figures inhabit space while simultaneously converging with the architectural planes, fusing with it – or fading into it – blurring across it, as boundaries are lost. In other works the artist’s use of architectural objects to instead suggest the absent figure imply the use of the space; the theodolites become a replacement for a kind of figurative absence in the architectural spaces.
As part of the artist’s practice, Coyle actually begins by painting figures into his multifaceted constructs, then slowly through the layering and deconstruction of the elements of the image, the working, and re-working of the piece – the artist subsequently removes the figure entirely.
Coyle’s inherently man-made structures are left alluding to the figure, the space is present for them to exist; but instead the artist leaves the space for the viewers act of unconscious projection into the remaining space, as an act of psychological exploration throught the intersecting David Schnell-esque planes. Bachelard’s poetics of space merge with environments that at times have the slight feel of a Bacon painting bereft of figuration – those void spaces are not inviting, but speak of human existence and entropy in a similar way, but through the architects eye.
Edward Coyle: BUILD! – Berloni Gallery – until 9 May 2015
Words: Paul Black. Photo: P A Black © 2015