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Accidents [Part II]

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Key takeaways

1. Accidents [Part II], the second of a two-part group exhibition, featuring artworks by three artists: Leonardo Drew, Antony Micallef, and Dale Frank

2. In this exhibition, three artists from different generations and cultural backgrounds experiment with different materials and mediums to reveal the relational aspects of art


Feb 25 - May 30, 2020


Pearl Lam Galleries

Pearl Lam Galleries

Hong Kong


Pearl Lam Galleries presents Accidents [Part II], the second of a two-part group exhibition at the H Queen’s gallery, featuring artwork by three artists: Leonardo Drew (b. 1961), Antony Micallef (b. 1975), Dale Frank (b. 1959).

Accidents examines the margins of meaning or 意 and investigates the potentials that lie beyond the original intention of the artist. The making of art often relies on the creator to remain faithful to a predetermined production process in the hope that it would result in something meaningful in the end. This exhibition deviates from such a set narrative and focuses on bringing out the subconscious and imaginary aspects of art. It questions to what extent is the artist conscious of his original intention. Can an art object be the inevitable outcome of a series of uncontrollable and unforeseen accidents that not only exist in their own right, but also gaze back at the author, asking him/her squarely how the piece is made in the first place? Such a relational reading downplays the importance of authorship and shifts focus towards the viewers and their active participation, giving art its meaning.

In this exhibition, three artists from different generations and cultural backgrounds experiment with different materials and mediums to reveal the relational aspects of art. Accidents celebrates the autonomous and alchemic qualities of artistic practice; a series of accidents turns into an alternative reality not bound by any specific cultural or political circumstances. Using nature as a reference, these artists incorporate natural phenomena into their practices and surrender control to a far greater force. They translate what is inherently idealistic into something artificial by situating viewers in an ambiguous space. Preoccupied with the unpredictable properties of different materials, they are all interested in the possibilities of automatism, working laboriously with non-figurative means of expression to reflect on what is left by our conspicuous daily consumption. In short, their common ulterior motive is to convey higher spiritual ideals (意境) through their art to deepen our metaphysical understanding with society at large.

New York-based sculptor Leonardo Drew formally, materially, and conceptually furthers the visual vocabulary which he has pioneered since the early 1990’s. His relief objects utilise raw, found, and recycled materials often monochromatically painted and meticulously composed to examine the causalities of urban life and human fate. His works reflect on the universality of existence and the interconnectivity of all beings to one another by a combination of the visceral qualities of the materials to mirror the organic reality of existence and reveal the resonance of life and humanity.

Post school of London artist Antony Micallef is known for his visually charged figure paintings that explore the relationships of the mechanics of artistic intent, representation, and the use of paint as a material for expressing emotions. His portraitures contemplate the very substance and void that makes us human in the first place. By using an impasto technique which blurs our reading of painting and sculpture, Micallef’s intent is to short-circuit our narcissism and provoke us to contemplate what makes a painting after all. Micallef’s preoccupation is not to merely create imaginary subjects, but to capture an emotive moment that both the artist and audiences can share.

For Australian artist Dale Frank, painting is essentially conceptual only when the material qualities in its own language are self-referential and self critical. Frank's works experimented with various materials to embrace full chemical and physical transformative process, in order to challenge the concept of painting. Believing each has a life and lifespan of its own that is created as a result, his paintings reveal the order of nature and explore the concept of “reaction”. Using shattered glass, fire retardant foam, and compression foam on Perspex, coated in Harlequin paint, resins and varnishes, his works suggests celestial typographies, what is initially grotesque conveys a gradual beauty, re-examining the nature of
painting itself.