Gwenn Thomas’ exhibition entitled Standard Candles, oscillates between two bodies of work – Moments of Place and Standard Candles – visually related, yet manifested in different emotional tones.
Moments of Place is a series of laminated photographs, presenting the same window from various angles and at different times of day: morning, late afternoon, and dusk. Irregular trapezoidal framings evoke changes in perspective, while color and tone express variations in daylight and weather. Each work insists on the moment of its inception, as if extracted from another place and time.
These asymmetrical photographic objects allude to actual windows in their construction, recalling Marcel Duchamp’s window of 1920. Thomas reveals complex spatial relationships, within and outside of the two-dimensional plane, accounting for each available axis of space.
Standard Candles exists in a similar conceptual space, creating the illusion of infinite depth beyond its windows. The largest piece in the gallery operates much like a standard candle in astronomy, its placement determining the constellation of all the other works. The known luminosity of its color measures the tone for each subsequent piece. These other hues radiate softly from their interior spaces, projected as light through glass.
The smallest works in the exhibition become recalls/signals of memory as the viewer moves through the space. Considering the philosopher Henri Lefebvre’s concept of lived space, the works contemplate a mode of inquiry into our environments, their spatial dimensions and emotional character. These qualities are absorbed by the individual, making each an extension of the space they occupy. Environment mediates the works from Moments of Place in a similar manner, coloring the act of perception. They create this environment, and their viewers project it back onto them.
Gwenn Thomas has previously shown at the gallery in selected group exhibitions as well as in two two-person exhibitions: in 2013, as part of a dialogue exhibition entitled →Gwenn Thomas <> Hanne Lippard, and, in 2009, together with Birgit Hein, as part of the exhibition →Jack Smith: Cologne, 1974.
→Mousse Magazine review by Ginevra Bria
→Artforum Critics’ pick by Mitch Speed