Reconstructing The Old House




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The Nunnery, London, and the Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University



Peer reviewed


3 inter-disciplinary artworks by Mosscrop (Everything Is Everything; Theory and Practice; and To Hear Is To Speak To Oneself) included in Reconstructing the Old House at the Nunnery, London, April 2009, and at the Ruskin Gallery at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, October 2009.

How can the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk be re-evaluated and applied to an inter-disciplinary practice conceived as a conjunction of painting and sculpture, and how can the resulting contradiction between genre identifications contribute, alongside aleatory procedures, to the production of the affect of equanimity? The research extended Mosscrop’s enquiry into the sculptural dimension of painting, the use of apparently irrational methodologies such as chance and contradiction, and the role of affect in contemporary practice. The research was informed by the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk as embraced by the Bauhaus School of Design, and the inter-disciplinary practices of modernist pioneers such as Malevich, Max Bill and Kurt Schwitters. The research combined critial studio practice with theoretical speculation, following Spinoza in conceiving affect as movement between ideas, and following Pyrrhonian skepticism in embracing contradiction to suspend judgment and assent in the attainment of equanimity. The work comprised mutually inflected painted and sculpted components, allowing a precise and expanded exploration of painting’s relationship to architectural space. Dice were used as randomisers to create stochastic distributions of colour within precise and highly structured geometric frameworks in a further exploration of the potential of chance as a creative strategy and generator of indeterminacy. These works question distinctions between disciplines while subverting the autonomy and interiority of painting by interrogating its relationship with its environment. Mosscrop joins contemporary artists such as Angela De La Cruz & Eva Berendes in extending the possibilities for contemporary painting by liberating it from the wall and investigating alternative means of display. Curated by Benet Spencer, Reconstructing the Old House explored works by nine artists in reference to architecture and modernism, included an artists’ gallery discussion and a catalogue published by Anglia Ruskin University, with essay by David Ryan. Funded by Arts Council England, Bow Arts Trust and Anglia Ruskin University.



fine art, painting, pattern, abstraction, Gesamtkunstwerk



Research Institute