Colin Glen


2nd - 10th March, 2013

INDEX is proud to present Reductions, a movement in five exquisitely crafted, evocative paintings by Colin Glen. With this new exhibition Glen embarks on a journey of scale, process and technique that explores representation and altered perception.

“The process of reducing is obviously a direct reference to Reductionism and the project in modern art to achieve the most simple and pure possible result. However, I find that complexity occurs in the process of translation. The Reduction paintings are, in a sense, a parody of reducing art to first principles, relishing instead the wealth of possibilities spawned in the ‘simple’ process of altering scale.” Colin Glen, 2012

Glen’s work is rooted not only in the act of drawing and the period of extended contemplation and examination this entails, but also, crucially, in the photographic reproduction of the same drawn image. A ball of wire is meticulously rendered in graphite and linseed oil onto raw canvas, then photographed, enlarged or reduced, from which another drawn copy is then made. Each new translation bears traces of the one before, becoming shadowy, dislocated but familiar – a presence suggested by its absence. And through this process of “re-originating”, or making a “new negative” as Glen puts it, these imperceptible changes become more apparent, assuming a significance beyond the mere altering of scale. The idea of constant translation with no original stems from Derrida’s concept of “trace”, the “mark of the absence of a presence”, and is key to Glen’s work as it investigates memory, presence and dislocation.

Reductions sees Glen return a former painting, Confusion To Clarity (2012), itself a fragment of a previous work, from its current monochrome, enlarged scale of 10’ x 8’ to its original size and colour of 2” x 1.5”. It is as if the ball of wire, having been subject to scrutiny, erasure and translation, is returned to its natural place in the world, restored but with its being unutterably altered.

Born in Edinburgh in 1968, Glen studied art at Goldsmiths (BA) and Birkbeck College (MA), and is currently studying for an MLitt at the University of Bristol. He lives and works in Gloucestershire and is a regular contributor to Art Monthly. Glen is represented by TJ Boulting Gallery, London and Other Criteria. Recent exhibitions include From Confusion to Clarity at T J Boulting and Situation Gigi at Sarah Lucas/Sadie Coles.

INDEX would like to acknowledge and thank TJ Boulting Gallery and Matt Shinn for their involvement and support with this exhibition.