Scott Myles: Potential for a Wish (as yet unmade)

Scott Myles: Potential for a Wish (as yet unmade)

Quartz Studio

February 27, 2023
Scott Myles
Potential for a Wish (as yet unmade)
February 22–April 22, 2023
Quartz Studio
Via Giulia di Barolo, 18/D
10124 Turin

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Quartz Studio is pleased to present the third solo exhibition in Turin by the Scottish artist Scott Myles (Dundee, UK, 1975). For the show, the artist conceived a site-specific painting cutting vertically through the space, a new large-scale work on paper, and a screenprint edition entitled Potential for a Wish (as yet unmade).

Myles’ painting is assembled from six individual stretched canvases. The modular work is drawn from the artists imagination. Viewers are confronted by an evocative and strangely simple image transposed by the artist’s hand in oil paint. Myles’ motif, held in place by tight blueish-green rectangles, suggests plaited materials, such as rope or wire. These equally evoke something celebratory, like maypoles, or something more taut and sinister.

There is a thread that runs through Myles’ recent works. The new painting examines pattern and repetition, seemingly suggesting the interconnectedness of things—the idea of no obvious beginning or end. Tracing the origins of Myles’ varied output as an artist, we find the same braided motif within an earlier painting, presented in Germany in 2019, entitled Rope. Around this time, Myles incorporated line drawings enlarged from a colouring book of Japanese shin-hanga artist Kawase Hasui’s woodblock prints into three further works. Myles’ interest in Hasui (1883–1957) arose through a biographical detail of the Japanese artist’s life, and his rejection of pressure to take on the family business. Hasui’s family owned a thread and braid company and for Myles the detail of a rope depicted within a temple in one print, became a metaphor for unlikely escape.

A second artwork presented in Turin is titled O O. The new work on paper evolved from Big Car (2022), a life-size rendering in acrylic paint of an American muscle car Myles painted over two-months whilst undertaking a residency in Texas, USA. Myles’ title “Big Car” denotes cynicism around petro-culture and automotive terrorism keenly felt within an oil rich state like Texas. A piece of writing by David Searcy accompanied Myles’ exhibition of the painting in Dallas; the extract from Yellow, a forthcoming book by the Texas based author Searcy articulated a common sentiment between Myles and the writer: “It must take you away. The simple acceleration. That must be the thing, the feeling—of removal. Gone. Escaped. Like death, I imagine—both so far outside my experience.” 0 0 involves the conceptual removal of Myles’ muscle car. The action leaves behind two white circles in place; a denotation of wheels, situated on the surface of an intense field of florescent orange paint.

Myles is known for an ongoing series of text works involving eye popping words in orange on black grounds. O O reduces a car painting to a colour field, and reduces language to two letter O’s. Myles’ new “zip” painting might connote Barnett Newman’s vertical dividers, and many other artistic reference points—Constantin Brâncuși’s Endless Column (1938) or Maurizio Cattelan’s Fuga (1992) come to mind. O O references the aesthetics of minimalism, filtered through contemporary billboard advertising and desire. An act of positive, progressive removal and distillation.

Each work within Potential for a Wish (as yet unmade) in someway represents a gesture of abandon and hope for the future—the rope escape, the removal of a defunct machine, the act of casting a coin into water and making a wish.

Scott Myles (Dundee, UK, 1975) is a Scottish artist based in Glasgow, UK. His practice is strongly gestural and consists of sculpture, painting, printmaking, artist’s books, photography and performance-based projects, a kind of reactivation of ideas relating to the value of art and social reality by means of reusing already established codes. As a whole, his artworks constitute a complex network of responses to social and physical infrastructures, and examine the subject in their own environment.

Scott Myles’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Swim Club, Dallas, US (2022); Penthouse, Margate, UK (2021); Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe, Germany (2019, 2015 and 2012); The Modern Institute, Glasgow, UK (2017, 2014 and 2007); Rat Hole Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2016); Maison Lafayette (in collaboration with Fondation Galeries Lafayette, Paris, France (2014); Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, India (2014); Dundee Contemporary Arts, UK (2012), Sonia Rosso Gallery, Turin, Italy (2006, 2003) and Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland (2005). His work has also been featured in group shows at Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow, UK (2022); the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, UK (2019); Luhring Augustine, New York, US (2017); The Menil Collection, Houston, US (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US (2015); Tate Liverpool, UK (2011); Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Germany (2008); Tate Britain and Tate Modern, London, UK (2006) and Secession, Vienna, Austria (2003). Myles’s works are held in many private and public collections, including: Tate Gallery, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The British Council Collection, London; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US. Myles was awarded two Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowships at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, Richmond (2016 and 2019). The artist is represented by The Modern Institute, Glasgow, UK, Meyer Riegger Galerie, Berlin/Karlsruhe, Germany, and The Breeder Gallery, Athens, Greece.

Quartz Studio would like to thank the artist, Matthew Rich, Sonia Rosso, The Modern Institute, Glasgow, UK and Meyer Riegger, Berlin/Karlsruhe, Germany. The exhibition will be open from February 22, 2023, to April 22, 2023, by appointment.

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February 27, 2023

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