A Grammar of Gestures: Exhibition at Kourd Gallery, Athens

Maria Capelo, Mark Lammert, Michael Markwick, Béatrice Dreux, David Benforado

Opening 23 November 2021, 6 – 11 pm

Curated by Jurriaan Benschop

A Grammar of Gestures, Exhibition at Kourd Gallery, Athens. Maria Capelo, Mark Lammert, Michael Markwick, Béatrice Dreux, David Benforado.

“The painters in this exhibition understand their work as a practice of transformation. Human figures, animals, or elements of landscape appear in their works, but these motifs present themselves neither in a singular, unambiguous way, nor as a hard subject matter. Rather, the center of attention is on the dynamics of shapes, on the ability of forms to flip and change appearance while you are looking at them. This shifting has to do with the way the motifs are executed, with the grammar of painterly gestures that is involved in the conception of the works. Each of the painters presents a distinct sensibility, a way to approach the canvas, paper, or other substrate. There is a gentle or decisive brushstroke, an angry scraping away, or a patient process of layering paint to reach a certain depth or intensity of color. The paintings develop their character and complexity in their material presence, through touch and texture.”

“The work of Michael Markwick is usually related to nature, though not always in an explicit way. The energy of nature comes to us in gestural and lyrical abstraction, with more or less direct indications of a landscape, sometimes with a figure, too. The complexity of forms allows multiple interpretations of the painted motifs. In Flood and Dusk, there is a hazy light that attracts the attention first, presenting an environment where something is “in the air,” a moment of the day rather than a specific location. The use of transparent silk supports a gentle sensibility, whereas in earlier works, a rougher and edgier kind of abstraction predominated. The artist grew up in Michigan, USA, at the fringes of a city, in a setting where nature collides with human intervention. In his work, a dark outlook on the environmental situation of the world meets a poetic potential for hopeful transformation. Markwick had his first institutional solo show in Germany in 2018 at the Martin von Wagner Museum in Würzburg. In 2020 he participated in Exhibitionisms at the artist-run network Tiger Strikes Asteroid, in Chicago.” – Jurriaan Benschop (2021)


View other paintings by the artist