Kathryn Pender: Figure Form

you don't need to 'get it,' there's not necessarily a joke you missed

Article by Invisible Jim | 15 Feb 2006
Almost biological vistas are built up with texture and colour (formed with substances like wax, varnish or ink mixed with glue or pieces of fruit or glass) in the kind of plastic way that reminds me of the Boyle Family's squares of landscape, faithfully recreated to scale by a mystery technique. There are squares of Pender's work, for example Recurrence or Scar Tissue II, that are like underwater fireplaces glowing with emotion and displaying an undulating surface you want to run your grubby fingers over or – forgive me – lick...

Pender sometimes claims not to be entirely sure of the direction in which she is going but I would say this is part of the point. She is exploring, like two partners new to each other might, trying to draw a map for herself as she goes along and set some reference points like the pieces of diagram we find in Scar Tissue II or Tissue III. There is an emotional honesty about this, about admitting you're not sure which way to go now, which is hard to find in a lot of irony-laden, obfuscating conceptual art. Looking at Pathways or Freefall there seems to be time to reflect around here, you don't need to 'get it,' there's not necessarily a joke you missed.

This kind of exploration can take its toll and there are sharp corners in these images where you can pick out the 'scar tissue.' If you are going to push your senses to delineate a direction for you it is inevitable intense experience results, and this changes our fragile conceptual, biological and other structures in ways you can only map when you get there. Pender is looking for these places for us. [Invisible Jim]
Lloyd Gerome Gallery until Feb 22.