Maisterravalbuena is pleased to present the third solo show by Dan Shaw-Town in the gallery. In this new project, the artist shows a bigger interest in eliminating the barriers existing between the practice of drawing and sculpture: the pictorial and the material. The sheets of paper have acquired a corporeal nature after being folded, rolled, cut, torn and crumpled, and they occupy a preeminent space. On the wooden panels hanging from the wall and on the tables, we can see paper falling, adapting, transforming along with the workbenches, being part of a sculptural whole. Paper still plays its traditional roll of medium but, at the same time, it becomes a 3D object to experiment with.
By means of a gestural work, the different layers of graphite overlap, and the paper is so much filled up that, in some cases, it looks like the support shall not be able to hold up the weight of the pigment. The use of graphite here is not random, making the paper look like an organic body in constant transformation, since graphite does not get dry or hard because it is living matter. Dan Shaw-Town draws marks, signs or letters on the surfaces that overlap each other, both hiding and revealing the artist’s personal lexicon. The image appearing is always the result of a thorough procedure: repetitive and almost impersonal actions that, however, transmit a certain urge for change, for “re-writing” what has already been created.
This way – by using signs- Dan Shaw-Town investigates another link that questions the pre-established limits between drawing and writing, both disciplines traditionally linked to paper. He talks about the moment in which an idea – a meaning- is communicated, transmitted through the hybrid language-image. Messages, covered by graphite layers, are being presented by categorical signs that do not follow any grammar rule, each piece looking to be a part of a greater and more complex narrative.
At the end of this almost alchemical process, a new object appears as a result of handling a primary material such as paper, apparently just a simple two-dimensional medium. The cycle has been completed to start again: “things are finished until they’re not”, as the exhibition titles goes. The artist’s duty here is questioning the preconceived limits between drawing and sculpture, image and written language. For that purpose, he transforms materials and emphasizes their physical nature, fitting them within new contexts.