Finas Townsend III @ CCA, Glasgow

Finas Townsend III exhibits a series of abstract paintings, though their expected import is subtly subverted

Review by Adam Benmakhlouf | 27 Jul 2017
  • Finas Townsend III @ CCA

Find the playlist for Finas Townsend III’s exhibition online, publicly available on Spotify under the same title as the show itself: ...grabbing the gin and regretfully leaving the sauce. Townsend is in the space invigilating for the entirety of the exhibition. Whether this is to be paid attention to, thought of as performative, is left moot.

This subtly indistinct boundary of intention is contrasted in the careful arrangement of the 16 abstract painted works over two walls, then the gallery map pile (below, embedded and incorporated at the centre of all the works) and two pieces of perspex with objects on the floor. Colours (subtly different blue hues, sharp red pink) are allowed to glance and relate, but neither the predominantly brighter nor richly darker works are allowed to bunch together. Sharper edges or marks are set next to (within the same work, or in relation to that next to it) diffuse areas of less definite edges and powdery blurring.

Seeing the title Sexy chat […] for the mainly white oil on canvas, squared off near its edge. Townsend explains it’s been scraped away using a palette knife to the black gesso that is underneath all of the paintings shown. It’s seen at the edges, dripping underneath, presumably primed lying on their back.

This kind of formal description is made inadequate by the five pictures titled BCB (Beautiful chocolate booty) that are on the floor under a square and clear hard plastic sheet, then a lube packet (branded text: 'Trojan Magnum Bearskin') and the sheet with the titles of the paintings: Sexy chat […], ….the real fantasy is having a dance, Bish … whatever. Interrupting the rhythm of coolly universalisable abstraction, the texts draw attention to a more colloquial and personalised narrative or exceptions for their operation. [Adam Benmakhlouf]

Until 28 Jul http://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/intermedia-finas-townsend-iii-grabbing-the-gin-and-regretfully-leaving-the-sauce