Luhring Augustine, in collaboration with Thomas Dane Gallery, is pleased to announce Moon/King, an exhibition intermixing the work of Phillip King and Jeremy Moon.
Phillip King and Jeremy Moon first met in 1956 at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where they lived on the same street. Moon was studying law, and King, modern languages. They would remain close friends until Moon’s untimely death in 1973. This exhibition will intermix work by both artists throughout Thomas Dane Gallery’s two spaces on Duke Street, St. James’s. Paintings and drawings by Moon from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a geometric floor-based sculpture from 1972, will sit alongside two large sculptures from the 1960s by Phillip King and a group of hand-made and editioned maquettes made throughout the artist’s career.
The closeness of the artists’ friendship and the influence they would have on one another’s work is clear. Having grown up during the Second World War and experienced the post-war depression, both were keen to reimagine sculpture and painting in new ways. It was in part from America where they took inspiration for this new vision, from Frank Stella and David Smith, but also from the UK, particularly from Anthony Caro. However both felt the remaining vestiges and remnants of the post-war era needed to be cast off, and set about making entirely new forms with innovative, virgin materials that stepped outside of the existing world and into pure abstraction.
While Moon developed a highly rigorous and productive practice as a painter, King developed his language in sculpture. King’s interest was in the fundamentals of objects, their surfaces and volume. He explored how an object stood up, how one part could lean against another to make an intentional object (thus discovering his most recognisable silhouette: the apex or cone). He described his work as the ‘art of the invisible’, referring to the fact that the majority of a sculpture is hidden within its own volume.
Similarly, Moon began exploring the sculptural possibilities of painting, with large, unconventionally shaped canvases, cut-out works (indeed, paintings that are more cut-out than remaining, an idea that resonated strongly with King’s idea of ‘the art of the invisible’) and geometric compositions that were more closely related to objects than traditional works on canvas. He even ventured beyond painting into making actual sculptures, though deliberately avoided any clear distinction between the two.
Moon’s work was heavily inspired by music, particularly Jazz, as well as choreography and dance. Repeated patterns of stripes and grids became a way to set up, and then syncopate, rhythm and movement across a surface that subverted the traditional static quality of painting. King too felt this connection with temporality and dance which can most clearly be seen in his Reel series (eg. Dunstable Reel, 1970 and Ring Reel, 2013) and in works such as Green Streamer, 1970, maquettes of which appear in the show.
Key to both artists’ practices was the use of colour and how it related to shape and volume, monochromatically, but more importantly in combination. The relationship between two or more colours became a fundamental building. block for both artists. Harmonies and resonances were used to support or undermine the compositional integrity of the works allowing for a strict and formal yet idiosyncratic geometric language.
To learn more about the exhibition, please visit the Thomas Dane Gallery website.