September 22, 2023


How Art Works

Juxtapoz Journal – In Tandem: Roby Dwi Antono and Felix Treadwell Debut @ Carl Kostyál, London

4 min read

Carl Kostyál is delighted to current a twin exhibition of latest works by Indonesian painter Roby Dwi Antono and English painter Felix Treadwell, each their debut London exhibitions with the gallery.

“We’re capable of finding every little thing in our reminiscence, which is sort of a dispensary or chemical laboratory wherein likelihood steers our hand generally to a soothing drug and generally to a harmful poison.” —Marcel Proust À la recherche du temps perdu, 1913-1927

When Proust’s narrator, Marcel, eats the crumbs of a madeleine dipped in limeblossom tea, it triggers a strategy of remembering that brings his previous to life. At first the narrator describes himself as being struck in a means that captures his consideration. He isn’t certain what this sudden consciousness means, however he conjectures that it was his tasting the madeleine soaked in tea that led to this startling feeling. He tastes it once more. The identical feeling happens. However when he tries a 3rd time, the sensation is diminished. After a lot effortful focus, Marcel lastly comes to understand why the tasting expertise is so potent: it’s anchored by a long-buried reminiscence that’s step by step delivered to the floor of consciousness. At this level the narrator recollects his aunt Léonie’s bed room, the place on Sundays she would soak items of madeleine in her limeblossom tea. He remembers the outdated gray home in Combray, the gardens, the streets and the sq. of the small city. From this starting comes the vastoutpouring of Marcel’s recollections of his previous life. Desires and recollections – of their childhood, of loneliness and salvation from it, of moments of happiness, of melancholy and of the cloak of ever-present existential angst – are the weather that infuse the works of each Dwi Antono and Treadwell, connecting them in a means that’s directly poetic and surprising.

The act of drawing, central to each their practices, is in plentiful evidencehere – traces drawn with daring and voluptuous strokes, tracing the hazy types of these involuntary recollections on canvas, bringing them to new life. That is portray that seeks to precise a personal, inside world – these in any other case unstated, ungraspable ideas which might be typically extra vivid to us, and felt extra profoundly, than our ‘actual’ worlds.

Dwi Antono, whose wild-eyed childlike faces, richly rendered in an acid, nearly neon palette of thick oil-stick, stare out at us, over-sized, wild, at instances fearful or playful – their disproportionate, irregular traces filled with vitality and immediacy, his compositions imaginative, naïve, and spontaneous – has described, in Proustian element, an identical reminiscence, acutely poignant as a result of it marks what he remembers of the beginnings of his creative self:

“Again in main faculty, once I wished to go and play with my pals, I might go go to my father in his blacksmith workshop to ask for pocket cash. At the moment, he was one amongst many blacksmiths in my village and I can nonetheless vividly image how busy the workshops had been. That small bamboo home was house to the distinctive smells of heated metal being moulded into family and farming instruments. The rhythm of the rattling and thumping of iron bars slowly turned music to my ears. Exterior the workshop, there was a giant tree and below its shade, clients would sit on an outdated teak bench, ready for my father to restore their instruments. I preferred to select a number of items of charcoal from the piles mendacity round, ready for use as sizzling coals to melt the iron. I used that charcoal
to doodle on the streets within the village.”

He has described these works as his try to deliver again the soul of a kid that will have been misplaced, to go to the recollections floating on the floor and to dive deep into these buried beneath. Their vivid and gestural power is harking back to the CoBrA artist Karel Appel, who, like Dwi Antono, tried to return the mark making of a kid, to avoid grownup logic and mind in his

“All grown-ups had been as soon as kids….however just a few of them keep in mind it.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943.

Felix Treadwell’s work have a wistfulness about them, a dream-like sweetness. Their grounds are flat and uniformly monochrome. His younger protagonists’ figures limbs loom with the sculptural presence of Brancusi or Moore, filling the image airplane, their heads small. They sit, stand or transfer in infantile surprise, collectively or alone, the hopefulness of a rainbow held of their hand. They’re suspended in area, typically wrapped or certain collectively in concord – right here, they seem to have discovered peace, albeit a considerably melancholic one. “I assume, in my work, I’ve all the time been returning to my childhood or youth and and eager for one thing I needed or wished to have, how nostalgia impacts one.”

The hypnotic, other-worldly presence of his figures stems partially from their fluid motion, created with a mix of spray and acrylic paint in a intentionally muted, mild palette. Of their stasis and quasi-abstracted type, they recall the exaggerated element of Domenico Gnoli, the trippy innocence and awkwardness of Zebedee, Ermintrude and Doogal within the British kids’s tv sequence The Magic Roundabout (BBC, 1965), greater than an aesthetic of the post-digital age, however their simplicity is equally misleading. These pareddown compositions are an antidote to the pace and surfeit of images we’re subjected to each day through social and different media, permitting for a slowing down, a second of quieter contemplation, their deliberate simplicity each soothing and

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