Moray Gallery

Robert P. West: Exact Air

1 April - 3 May 2023

“From far away you see the pattern, the connections, and the thing as a whole, see all the islands and the routes between them. Up close it all dissolves into texture and incoherence and immersion, like a face going out of focus just before a kiss."
The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit.

In his essay 'Exact Air’ from 1933 Le Corbusier wanted to create order and certainty in man-made environments, where everything was constant and everything controlled.  Where the temperature was always 64.4F and exact air is sent ‘into men’s lungs, at home, at the factory, at the office, at the club and auditorium. Let’s manufacture exact air: filters, driers, humidifiers, disinfectors.  Machines of childish simplicity’

The pictures here are controlled and minimal. The square and the geometric dominate. They are man-made, but with the emphasis on hand-made – wonky corners, not quite straight lines, and angles askew.   A failed attempt at control and discipline.

 They are an evolution of the work shown in my show Seeing Things (Moray Gallery 2019). Similar pixelated close ups of unidentifiable objects, QR codes, computer viruses, children’s games, or a pastiche of early 20th century abstract paintings. 

Don’t stand too close or you won't see or imagine the whole.

LINK to Otago Daily Times Exhibition Review