id Painting 37, 2015 | Courtesy the artist, carlier | gebauer, and Hauser & Wirth.
Mark Wallinger’s monumental “id Paintings” have grown out of his longstanding self-portrait series making reference to the artist’s own body. Either Wallinger’s height or arm span is the basis for the canvas size, sharing the exact measurement in width and doubled in height. Created by sweeping paint-laden hands across the canvas, in active, freeform gestures, the “id Paintings” bear the evidence of their making, and of the artist’s performed encounter with the surface, produced with a deliberate visual resemblance to the Rorschach test. In recognizing figures and shapes in the material, the viewer reveals their own desires and predilections – or perhaps, tries to interpret those of the artist.
Iman Issa’s “Heritage Studies” series derives its name from a field of academic and applied inquiry that examines the dynamic sets of relationships between cultures, sites, and artifacts to articulate their relevance today. A historic artifact provides the basis for each work in the series. However, these “studies” are neither formal abstractions, nor “pared-down citations of reality,” but attempts to communicate the act of perceiving the original objects, and the relevance that they might hold for the present. “What do these new elements share with their sources if not the material, color, appearance, or shape?” Issa asks. “They share a speech act. They address or say something similar to each other, and it is perhaps through doing that, that they become the same.”