Exhibition text by curator Andrew Renton for 2020 virtual solo show In the Balance, etc as part of New Viewings at Galerie Barbara Thumm, Germany.
In the Balance, etc.
Marcus Cope’s paintings begin with memories or images of memories (which aren’t the same thing), preserved and detached through photographs or stories, and reworked at some remove from the original source or location. As if a singular, often uneventful, encounter needed to be worked out through painting. And sometimes that working out can’t help repeating, transposing, as motif from one painting or context to another.
But there’s much more at work in the making of the painting itself. Layers of making send the image further away from the viewer, or pull it forward. Where are you looking? What do you need to unsee in order to gain an image? What materially obstructs or enhances your view? At some level there’s a push pull between figuration and abstraction always at work, within explicitly, albeit ambiguous, narrative paintings.
Andrew Renton, 2020
Images courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm.