laser cut plywood, wood dye

300 x 300 x 180 cms

  • Mappa Mundii, University of Hertfordshire Galleries, 2005
  • Ornamatrix, H29 Gallery, Brussels

"The evolution of culture is synonymous with the removal of ornament."
Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime, 1908.

"... the grid states the autonomy of the world of art. Flattened, geometricized, ordered, it is antinatural, antimimetic, antireal. It is what art looks like when it turns its back on nature."
Rosalind Krauss, The originality of the avant-garde, 1981.

"Wolfflin noted that the Baroque is marked by a certain number of material traits: ... matter handled in masses or aggregates, with the rounding of angles and avoidance of perpendiculars ... spongy, cavernous shapes, or to constitute a vortical form always put in motion by renewed turbulence ... matter tends to spill over in space, to be reconciled with fluidity at the same time fluids themselves are divided into masses."
Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Liebniz and the Baroque, 1988.

Ornamatrix (for Sol le Witt), a floor work, forms an architectonic latticework. It is the sort of thing the Sol le Witt might have made had he been a contemporary of Alexander Pugin. It is a crystalline matrix ornamented in a Jacobean fret derived from my research at Jacobean Palace, Hatfield House. It operates as a semi-permeable screen that obscure its contents, allowing only a partial view into it's interior. Ornamatrix uses metaphors of crystalline growth and epitaxis, which is the formation of crystalline structures that arise from a pre-existing lattice.
I see this a manifestation of my metaphysical concern with the way that physical matter organizes itself and gives rise to ever increasing levels of complexity. It begs the question; what is the generative impulse behind crystals which grow into predetermined forms and how does this form arise? Is this process Platonic, i.e. the form is an imperfect physical manifestation of a perfect eternal idea of the crystal, operating outside the phenomenal world? Or is it Aristotelian, growing out of its own internal imperative, a tendency in the world, in nature, toward growth and unfolding? In Ornamatrix the ornament is the structure. The reworking of a Minimalist grid in this highly ornamental way is a critique of the banality of purist abstraction and the tendency of such (masculine) abstraction to ignore more emotional, embodied (feminine) aspects of experience. Ornamatrix is a feminized masculine structure - Sol le Witt in drag.

Related Links