Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako is pleased to present ‘Razzle Dazzle’ by Carl Fudge, his fourth one-man-show in Paris, from April 24 through June 5, 2010.
Carl Fudge increases the complexity of any visual interpretation of an object by reducing the elements of a figurative subject. He upgrades the relationship between the abstract and the figurative by using the possibilities that the digital technologies and the new developments in physical sciences offer. He has developed a creative process that combines traditional art-making techniques with digital technology. In his new series he’s inspired by works of artists such as Lieutenant –Commander Norman Wilkinson, John Duncan Fergusson, L. Campbell Taylor and Edward Wadsworth, a member of the short-lived British art movement called the Vorticists (1914-15). The Vorticists promoted a British brand of modernism which stressed geometric abstraction and the hard-edged precision of mechanical forms. In so doing Fudge suggests correspondences between the utopian vision of the Industrial Age and our current infatuation with digital technology.
Fudge abstracts Wadsworth’s subjects – industrial scenes of North England and Dazzle ships, which were patterned with designs to confuse the enemy in World War I. With a triple turn, he deconstructs the geometric shapes and hypnotic stripes painted on the ships to create a kaleidoscopic field of hard-edged forms that disorient the viewer. The graphic works present an interplay of planes that recede and project into space. The highly-detailed works inspired by dock scenes, include vestiges of Wadsworth’s vein of representation – cartoon-like workers, windows, and the glimmer of the outline of a ship. The silkscreen technique highlights the flat intense color relationships further fragmenting the compositional surface.
The compositions merge the look of Modernist Art with details that resemble digital bytes. Fudge plays with the characteristics of print-making, offering several versions of the same image: black and white and two-color variations and a detail from a larger composition, which can stand as a complete work. Referencing the original woodcuts, the prints are on lightweight Japanese paper. Fudge challenges hierarchies and breaks down traditional art disciplines.
Fudge’s new work is an elaboration on his previous series based on Warhol’s Camouflage paintings as well as Japanese prints. Camouflage and the Razzle Dazzle paintings use patterns to trick the eye. Whereas the purpose of camouflage is to conceal, Razzle Dazzle painting is designed to disorient by disrupting what is recognizable. These new prints achieve both. Fudge creates new pictorial vocabularies for a fresh look at what already exists.
Carl Fudge’s first exhibition in New York after a five-year-long interruption was staged at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. Recent solo shows were mounted at Gallery Jean-Luc & Takako Richard in Paris, France and Eugene Binder Gallery in Marfa, Texas. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Brooklyn Museum, NY; the Denver Art Museum, CO; among others. Born in London, England, he works and lives in New York.