What is the aesthetic potential of considering painting as an event, analogous to a game, in which the dynamics of chance and spontaneity are played out against pre-determined rules and the uniform rectangular field of the painting’s surface? Mosscrop’s paintings contributed to Pattern Recognition’s exploration of pattern as the emergence of underlying structure through their use of aleatory processes to generate unpredictability in the distribution of form and colour in abstract painting. The research extended Mosscrop’s investigations into the affective dimension of art and non-propositional forms of thought. The research related insights from Deleuze's 1978 seminar on affect in Spinoza to gestalt theories of perception and applied this to a critical studio practice. The methodology considered geometry and colour as proliferating forces, and the studio and its equipment as decision-making agencies, using aleatory mechanisms such as thrown matchsticks and a tailor-made ‘roulette wheel of colour’ to supplement conscious intent. The methodology is informed by strategies of using formal constraints as aids to composition as developed by members of the Oulipo group of writers. The innovative use of watercolour on immaculately constructed gesso panels resulted in qualities of delicacy, precision, and vibrancy of colour. Pattern Recognition was curated by Hugo Worthy, Curator of Contemporary Art at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, and included works by major international atists Robert Smithson, Bridget Riley, Dieter Roth and Ed Ruscha. Mosscrop joins contemporary artists such Gabriel Orozco, Marta Marce, Emma Hart in affirming the continued relevance of chance as a strategy for subverting conventional ideas of skill and authorship. Roy Exley’s subsequently commissioned essay Chromatogoria scrutinised the significance of chance in Mosscrop’s work. This research lead to further exhibitions of Mosscrop’s work: Love is A Highway at Five Years, London, Point of Address at Outpost Norwich and Touching Colour at Hatton Gallery, Newcastle.
Research Group : Fine Art Practices
- School of Arts