COOPER COLE is pleased to present A Different Kind of Tension, a solo exhibition by Oakland-based artist Chris Duncan. This marks Duncan’s first solo exhibition in Canada; in conjunction with the exhibit Duncan will host a one night sound and video performance at Art Metropole.
The works Duncan presents in A Different Kind of Tension rely on materiality use or mis-use, combined with repetition of specific actions and application, to create a subtle yet dynamic take on contemporary minimalism. Emphasis on various forms of spacial manipulation are at the core of Duncan’s work; the show will challenge viewers to question the nature of perception by exposing typically unnoticed facets of the viewing experience. The viewer is provoked to contemplate Duncan’s work obliquely, examining shadow and periphery spaces as highlighted parts of the artwork.
Duncan presents a series of four wall works titled Offing where he employs the process of layering commercial strapping tape as a means to achieve nuanced, hazy moiré patterns. The pieces are aptly named Sunrise and Sunset, as the effect of concealing and accenting diffused colours evokes the feeling of contemplating a tranquil horizon. The title of this series refers to the nautical term for the furthest visible distance of the sea from the shore. The term “offing” can also mean the near and distant future. On the opposing side of the gallery Duncan exhibits a duplicate number of sculptures from his Slab series, leaning monoliths made from plaster that emit a prismatic reflection from behind. This effect is caused by the echo of natural light off the painted reverse of the works, where there should be darkness of shadow, there is a warm colourful glow. The installation offers a open platform for contemplation, and much like the artists practice, poses more questions than answers.
Chris Duncan (b. 1974, New Jersey) holds a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his MFA from Stanford University. His practice employs repetition and accumulation as a basis for experiments in visual and sound based media. Often in flux between maximal and minimal, Duncan’s work is a constant balancing act of positive or negative, loud or quite, solitary or participatory and tends to lead towards questions regarding perception, experience and transcendence. Outside of his studio practice he organizes events and runs a small artist book press and record label called LAND AND SEA with his wife. Duncan currently lives and works in Oakland, USA.
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