CARBON 12 is pleased to present the works of Philip Mueller, Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Bernhard Buhmann, and Nour Malas. The booth forges a discourse between these artists’ practice, exhibiting new works that are intrinsically linked to their overall practices, each of which investigating an ongoing tension between abstraction and figuration as is carried throughout the differing perspectives of the artists.
Inexplicitly exploring the rooted relations between body and mind, organism and mechanism through her post-Internet, robotic apparatuses, Amba Sayal-Bennett (b. 1991, UK) uses different material processes such as hand-drawing a design on paper, transforming a drawing into sculptural media, large-scale installation, and overhead projection to meticulously investigate what the artist calls cybernetic systems - an ongoing process of human material engagement and feedback.
While Sayal-Bennett’s works are concerned with how formal elements or relationships between certain objects can generate references outside of the work's physical material context, the paintings of Buhmann create a similar apprehensiveness. Bernhard Buhmann’s (b. 1979, Austria) compositions walk a fine line between abstraction and figuration as his chromatically rich compositions recall historical tradition and the contemporary condition to question identity construction. His works contemplate the consequences of technology from both a social and individual level in the event of when shared information is misconstrued.
Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola (b. 1991, USA) unravels the contexts which define culturally specific, ready-made objects, such as the Durag, and makes known their purpose in the care and maintenance of Black hair. While largely defined by their popularity within African communities, the CAMOUFLAGE series explores other threads within this larger topic; highlighting a commentary on global consumption, and the circumstances which continually reinforce structures of capitalism. The artist further explores themes of the consumption and commodification of Black culture.
Philip Mueller’s (b. 1988, Austria) new works counteract the monumental and technically classical nature of his practice. Through a longer phase of experimenting with reduction, the artist returns to the fundamental form of communication - pure drawing. By knowing the absolute technical standards of painting and drawing, and by creating a basis for his compositions using this essential communication, the artist can seamlessly shift through various perspectives and create scapes that are figurative by nature but abstract in essence.
Nour Malas’s (b. 1995, France) work explores the spontaneity of material and the contextualization of near-familiar forms within their organic or inorganic environment. Embodying elements of minimalism in simple shapes, delicate lines and repetitions, her work investigates a discourse charted between divergent forms, and how they may fuse together or interrupt each other. With works fueled by humor, absurdity and vulnerability, Malas depicts mundane objects and experiences in everyday life through an approach that helps make better sense of the complicated confrontations of placeless-ness, nonlinearity, and instability.
While the collective body of work heavily emphasizes the individual practices and varying media of these artists, each of their practices places a strong emphasis on concepts of form, structure, and figuration.