Karsten Schubert London is pleased to present Warp, an exhibition of new paintings by Sarah Kogan.
Working in stages in her London studio, Kogan applies paint that she then scrapes away or paints over, leaving traces of its existence or memory, a process she likens to leaving her ‘fingerprints’ behind. Often comprised of multiple layers in varying degrees of opacity, each composition exists within the outline of an amorphous shape set against a pale background, highlighting the surface variations. Kogan’s method of controlling and manipulating the materiality of paint creates shapes-within-shapes comprised of controlled spills, stains and solid pools of colour. The result of this deliberate entanglement instills the paintings with a condensed visceral energy that appears to circulate within it.
Included in this exhibition is a new series of works entitled Medusa (i–iv) (2022). Although abstract by nature, these paintings call to mind multiple tubular forms that have been dropped or slipped into the top edge of the canvas and loop indiscriminately back upwards as if they were attached to an unknown, greater mass. Kogan is interested in this notion, that we are only seeing a section of matter without knowing what it is attached to, if anything, encouraging a feeling of unease. Created by wide brush marks in jewel-like dark blue tones, these arrangements of sinuous forms, translucent in places, describe swirling lines that recur throughout the paintings to varying degrees of density.
Like her earlier works, Freefall, Nebula (both 2019) and The Gordian Knot, (2020) the complexity Kogan achieves by adding and subtracting paint is both disarming and deeply personal, allowing the viewer a glimpse at the emotional response within the artist’s process. Yet there is a lightness to these painted ribbons and loops that fluctuate between foreground and background with a fluid sense of continual motion, caught and held like a snapshot that could at any time alter in shape or position.
Sarah Kogan: Warp is accompanied by an exhibition booklet with text by Colin Wiggins.
Sarah Kogan: Warp | Press Release