From Nowt to Summat is a new installation by Aesthetica Art Prize finalist Deb Covell, opening at mima, Middlesbrough, on 18 September. The work has been produced as part of her Artist’s Open Studio event at mima (until 12 September) and is also accompanied by Absolute Zero, an exhibition of Covell’s work in the area outside our education space, Project Space 2 Gallery, until 18 September.
Covell’s practice is concerned with “bringing a form into being by exploring the material and physical qualities of acrylic paint.” By omitting the pictorial and eschewing the traditional canvas support, Covell engages the viewer with the purely formal and sensual aspects of her work. The process begins with layers of acrylic paint applied to stretched plastic sheets, which are then peeled off to create a foundation. Illusional spatial depth is brought in by the use of black and white diagonal bands painted randomly onto these supports.
Selected as a finalist in the Aesthetica Art Prize 2014, Covell featured in a major group show during spring and summer along with fellow artists Amedeo Abello & Federico Morando, Elke Finkenauer, Harriet Lewars, Inés Molina Navea, Ingrid Hu, Julia Weißenberg and Sybille Neumeyer.
The exhibition ran for 12 weeks at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space – which, set within an enchanting de-consecrated church, introduced a new conversation between the historic and the contemporary. Key references in Covell’s work include early 20th century abstraction, particularly the reductive, geometric language of Russian Suprematism.
To see more of Deb Covell’s work visit www.debcovell.co.uk.
Deb Covell: From Nowt to Summat, until 24 September, mima, Middlesbrough. For more information head to www.visitmima.com.
1. Deb Covell, acrylic paintings. Courtesy of the artist.
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