28/04/2010-28/05/2010: Daniel Turner - In Voller Blüte
STYX Project Space is pleased to announce "In Voller Blüte", the first Berlin exhibition of New York based artist Daniel Turner.
Daniel Turner's practices range widely, including painting, sculpture, photography, and site-specific installations. He uses a number of unconventional materials, such as vinyl, antiseptics, kerosene, soot, and liquid aluminum. Turner's work often provokes opposing sensations in the audience; while his pieces induce a feeling of psychological or physical threat, they appear at the same time vulnerable and project a sense of calmness. One approaches them keenly yet tentatively.
Created specifically for STYX Project Space, "Southern Pacific" encapsulates this apparent paradox. Hand-picked along a United States railroad track, the ferns are blackened with soot from the trains that perpetually pass by. The gentle elegance of the ferns is juxtaposed with the toxicity of the iodine they rest in. Walking through the gallery, one breathes in the vapor of the iodine and establish a relationship with the work that is both soothing and unsettling.
Similarly, the slick surfaces of "Summer" and "April" are at once alluring and repelling. Two sheets of transparent vinyl encase tar and Campho-Phenique, an over-the-counter medical product used for minor scrapes and burns. In contrast to the unromantic and synthetic materials, the titles of the works are reminiscent of women's names and evoke times of year associated with warmth and rebirth. The two pieces thus call to mind notions of balance and bliss and continue the dialogue of duality within the project space.
At once visceral and ethereal, the work "Orion" consists of five burnt out road flares placed in flagpole holders. A momento mori, the flares symbolize temporality and the suspension of a charged narrative.
Turner was born in Portsmouth, VA and received his BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including The Union Gallery, New York, NY; USSA Fine Arts, Brooklyn, NY; Envoy Enterprises, New York, NY; Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Walter and McBean Gallery, San Francisco, CA; ORG Contemporary, Detroit MI; Hermitage Foundation Museum, Norfolk, VA; Jericho Ditch, Isle of Wight, VA; The Rawls Museum of Arts, Courtland, VA; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Boulevard es Brezsnyev Gallery Budapest, Hungary and Preteen Gallery, Hermosillo Mexico. He is the recipient of several major grants from The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is a visiting scholar at New York University. Turner is the co-founder of the artist collective Cornrow Rider. He currently lives and works in New York, NY.
A conversation between Jessica Shepherd of STYX Project Space and Daniel Turner on 28 March 2010:
Your use of materials seems very instinctive. Which would you say comes first: the materials or the idea?
At first I have an instinctive idea as to how I would like a work to react, how a work will react to a particular space and time. This is first and foremost. The materials come next and the final work follows. You could say that I have an idea for a material, rather than saying I start with an idea or material first.
Do ideas of time and process play an important part in the way in which you want people to understand your work?
My works are often destroyed through external processes. There are very few works I've made that are still around today, as many of my pieces are designed according to a particular space and time. In that regard, yes, time is important in my work. In the past I've been interested in the residue of time, or in making work based on the longing for a timeless space. Recently I've been producing environments where suspending time and being aware of your body in relationship to time are critical aspects to the work. I'm interested in producing an image or material that conveys a cinematic time - meaning a heightened awareness of time, the time just before or after a happening has taken place or may occur.
In the past, you have referred to ideas of "presence and absence". Can you elaborate on this?
Much of my work is dealing with balance: negative and positives, polarities and dichotomies. I'm interested in something that has a presence, yet is not physically present, and vice-versa.
The paradoxical nature of your work is very interesting. It has been said of your work that it has a "calming severity". What questions or ideas do you hope to raise through this aesthetic of "calming severity"? Would you yourself describe your work in this way?
I'm very much attracted to people, objects, or places that radiate a "calming severity". Again, it has much to do with balance and wanting to communicate through this balance. It has little to do with aestheticism and much with being present. Though physical, much of my work has to do with the psychological nature of longing or violence - not a physical violence - but a psychological violence and euphoria. Sure, I believe the nature of my work achieves something soothing and calming, yet disturbing and unsettling.
Finally, an even more abstract question: if you could sum up your approach to art/visual language using a metaphor or image, what would it be?
A child running with a knife, a sinking cruise ship, a field of wheat, and a teaspoon of iodine.
Opening Reception: 28 April 2010, 7-10 pm
Closing Reception: 28 May 2010, 7-10 pm
Wednesdays to Sundays: 3-5 pm or by appointment