Taking Apart and Putting Together Like Arguments.
Lynn Hynd is an artist who offers her certainties up as propositions: clearly formed enquiries into line, surface, and edge, which demand a clear and determined space in order to deliver their elegant conclusions. Or so I have always believed. But Hynd's recent solo project at ten til ten gallery (temporarily housed at a flat in the Shawlands area of Glasgow) offered a radically different perspective on this Glasgow artist's work by reframing her thought processes within the happenstance of the domestic sphere.
Hynd showed a suite of new works that occupied the relatively complex space of this third floor tenement flat with nothing less than resolution - a position perhaps epitomised by a thing and itself (2009), an inconclusive form poised on the ledge of the bay window in the main room of the exhibition.
Occupying a central, pivotal position within both the domestic space itself and the conceit of the show, the screen printed plaster of a thing and itself becomes a point deftly weighted between definitions. As often with Hynd's work, the mark-making that so clearly identifies her emergence from a tradition of painting is both certain and obtuse. The marks carve out shape and apparent substance from the blank material surface, yet they refuse to articulate meaning or representative content. Indelible and yet unutterable. A similar decisive friction is created between the object's two dimensional and three dimensional status: the work stands, has solidity, and occupies physical space in the world, in relation to us, the viewer; and yet it references the single plane, the canvas, the sheet, or the page. We know the work is solid and yet it understands itself (it proposes itself to be) a finite and single sided space, again affirming that edge, that play of line that is at the centre of Hynd's enquiry throughout her practice.
Significantly, this state of paused definition is signalled by the placing of a thing and itself within the window alcove, rendering the work present undeniably within the room but also indivisible from the backdrop of the outside world. And it is the sheer delicacy of this gesture of leaning, not against a blank gallery wall but against the glass that separates the interior space from the exterior, which points to the departure made by the ten til ten presentation of the work. Because by outlining their concerns as well as their forms against the quotidian in this way, Hynd's works throughout the exhibition are leant a new and substantial suggestion. Previously framed by the constructed anonymity of the white cube, the sculptural essays Hynd pivots around the formal physicality of her work seemed rooted in a meta-fragmentation of figure and ground, surface and body, identifiable and non-identifiable. However, when reframed by the serendipity of the domestic, we are able to perceive a wholeness/holeness (a unification/perforation) to the surface of works such as slippage (2009), where the gridded plaster hangs against perfectly textured yellow wallpaper, or a hesitation (also 2009), in which the delicacy of Hynd's shaped paper pulp is positioned astutely within the enclosure of the hallway.
This whole/hole is in no way a negation of Hynd's precision, but rather suggests itself as an embodiment of the spontaneity which is always present within her gestures. Whereas previously this quality of the unresolved or opened existed solely within the boundaries of the work itself, in Taking Apart and Putting Together Like Arguments the friction is expanded to take on the peripheries of the work - the points at which it touches and abrades the surfaces of the non-work surrounding it - in a far more complex manner. Here the tensions between the work and the glass that supports it or the wallpaper behind it, fairly sing in their oppositional, irreconcilable pull. Allowing the fragile, careful, objects/non-objects of Hynd's construction to all but vibrate their elegant, eloquent, always intelligent, discord.
Ruth Barker 2009