Exploring Words and Destruction with "Extracts"
Three typography artists join forces for a group show highlighting their different uses of negative space
by Jorge Grimberg
Currently on view at New York's No Romance Galleries is "Extracts," an exhibition curated by Tim Strazza that features work by three artists on one common theme: the exploration of negative space through paper, words and deconstruction—and the boundaries within. >
Strazza was initially inspired to create the show by artist Greg Lamarche, who is best known for his graffiti-inspired collages that explore the power of lettering and messages on the streets of New York. “Greg is really meticulous about sourcing. The guy is an encyclopedia of old print publications. His studio is just lined wall-to-wall with source material. He is really particular on where his pieces come from," Strazza tells CH. With Lamarche as a jumping-off point, Strazza then saw works by Max Rippon (aka Ripo) and Jurne, finding a two-part connection between the three talented artists—lettering, and their "destructive tendencies." Strazza elaborates, "I think the artists are more in tune with each other in the way they connect with the materials."
Nothing ever stays the same. Everything is going away. But as things fade away, in destruction, new things come to replace them.
Upon entering the gallery space, viewers may feel that "Extracts" is a solo show, as the artists' connection is so strong, but upon a closer look, each artist's distinct style and unique quirks become apparent. While Lamarche creates collages using vintage magazines and newspapers, Rippon’s work focuses on creating and then destroying his own paintings. “It’s about layering and putting down. Erasing things and then trying to find them again. And when it’s all done, cutting it again—destroying everything in a way that I just created," Rippon explains. The text itself has to do with passing of time, change and instability. “Nothing ever stays the same. Everything is going away. But as things fade away, in destruction, new things come to replace them," he concludes.
For Jurne, working meticulously and paying acute attention to detail is almost second nature, thanks to a background in cell biology research. "For me, all of my work is décollages. I am not sourcing materials, I am building. I am sort of doing the opposite. I start with a full sheet of paper and subtract from it. Removing it away until the composition feels better." Each of Jurne’s pieces present a combination of words that express a feeling or attitude that viewers can connect with immediately. “I’ll often be jotting down little phrases about everyday life and how it feels to be an artist. Balancing commercial work, fine arts and different projects, working through different scales. And that is sort of how I came up with the sayings for each piece," he explains. The concept of deconstruction—of words and materials—within each artist's work is a sharp reminder that the negative space, silence and that which isn't seen is oftentimes of equal importance as what fills up those spaces.
"Extracts" is on view now through 4 October 2014 at No Romance Galleries, located at 355 Broadway, New York.
Lead images courtesy of Max Rippon and Greg Lamarche, final image by Jorge Grimberg