Art gallery, Elizabeth Xi Bauer, has announced Theodore Ereira-Guyer’s exhibition The Thicket, his first solo presentation at the Gallery. The artist will show a series of large-scale, never before seen etchings that continue his ongoing investigation into the subject of memory – what is kept and what is left behind.
The process of printmaking, especially the way in which Ereira-Guyer practices it, necessarily involves a loss of information between the plate and the paper. Even if it is a technique aimed at reproducibility, Ereira-Guyer favours single or a few compositions being generated per plate – every time a print is made, different aspects are emphasised whereas others are lost. Ereira-Guyer thus establishes a parallel between printmaking and the very mechanism of remembering. In this exhibition a selection of the etchings on show are hung on walls, in a more conventional manner, whilst others are displayed throughout the space, over structures that resemble screens. This maze-like architecture aims to create an immersive environment where viewers feel nested by the works, encouraging a sense of intimacy between person and object.
In The Thicket, the artist exhibits both a homonymous series and another titled The Pond. Both are magnanimous in size, nearly in the limit of what is possible to do with paper without tearing the material apart. Each series presents fundamental aesthetic differences. The Pond works are horizontal compositions with imagery, as the artist makes clear in the title, that addresses the mud-like vegetation that is typical from such environments. They are hung on the walls as individual works at a low height, close to the floor, emulating ponds as they exist in nature. These etchings are attached to wooden boards that are dyed in strong colours; each of the combinations aim to create a harmonious palette between composition and wood.
The homonymous series follows contrasting patterns between wood and paper, for instance pairing an orange frame with a dark green composition, or a green frame with a blue one. Moreover, in these works the wood has a sculptural quality, occupying space in addition to serving as a support. These billboard-like structures, welcome visitors to walk both in front and behind them – though the prints are attached only to the front of the structures. In contrast to The Pond, these works are vertical compositions that are exhibited in groupings of three, creating a sense of continuity and narrative between the individual parts, reinforced by the fact that these unique works share a colour scheme. A direct relation between title and imagery is also evident in these works: the etchings are rich and lush with a variety of plants.
The artist completes this presentation with a series of blue sculptures titled Columns made of pigmented plaster, that are scattered throughout the exhibition space, acting as punctuation marks. Both in the way they are cast and in the way they are coloured, they look unfinished, ambiguous in whether they are still in the process of being made or already falling apart. The works echo anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss declaration, made upon visiting Sao Paulo, Brazil, in the 1930s, in which he stated: ‘’Here everything looks like it is under construction, but it is already in ruins’’. In this series, Ereira-Guyer continues to evoke the unreliable and often fleeting nature of time passing and memory.
Theodore Ereira-Guyer: The Thicket runs from 13th May – 30th June 2022, open Wednesday through to Saturday, 12 – 6 pm or by appointment. For more information, visit www.elizabethxibauer.com