James Hyde painting sculpture photography furniture

James Hyde. Between Bild and Built as print version (PDF 2.490 KB)


Between Bild and Built

in: Alexi Worth, Michael Lüthy, Catherine Perret: James Hyde, Paris/Brussels 2005, S. 20-43.

Chapter 2: Painting as the Space Between

The individual works of Hyde’s œuvre inhabit a region between various genres; they nestle in „impossible“ spaces between painting, sculpture, photography and furniture design. The natural order of things becomes unstable, the work process unbounded. In an interplay between deconstruction and multiplication, the elements of art are isolated, before being recombined and supplemented with materials and processes from the realm of non-art, such as polystyrene, vinyl tape, light bulbs, and square timber.
This approach reflects not so much the spirit of Pop Art, which seeks to mix „high“ and „low“, or postmodernism, which aims to break down boundaries; its aim seems rather to expose the strata of aesthetic experience. Materials and processes are uprooted from their everyday pragmatic or inherited artistic functions so as to bring something to light that cannot be deduced from these functions alone. In the juxtaposition of various materials, in the fault lines of Hyde’s constellations, one perceives a negative quantity, a form of resistance; the non-sense of formless materiality and irreconcilable heterogeneity.
In some cases an effect is produced whereby tense expectation seems to evaporate into nothingness. For example, a luminous fresco which at first sight suggests a fragment of wall turns out on closer inspection to be an illusive layer applied to a rough, broken block of polystyrene, like a floating second surface. A picture set on a wall bracket like some picture-object seems to have lost its color almost entirely and turned into a transparent chunk of cast glass that serves as a mere stand-in for itself; the color appears to have slipped down onto the bracket, which is wrapped in blue and green vinyl tape.
Such a painting – and it is undeniable that these objects play on being such – is very hard to characterize in positive terms, since it appears unbounded in either its technical, material or gestural dimension. Many of the objects betray the use of neither paint nor paintbrush. The effect of painting that they nevertheless produce seems to flicker, fleeting and intangible, in the space between the various components constituting one of Hyde’s works. The objects confront us with a systematic instability that detaches terms such as „painting“, „color“, „plinth“ and „frame“ – from their material, process-based associations, turning them into perceptual facts.
Hyde’s „painting“ acquires a temporal dimension that makes it pulsate – appearing one moment, disappearing the next. Its potential becomes „there“ in the moment when the heteronomous elements unexpectedly converge as an aesthetically meaningful constellation, when the variously three-dimensional „pieces“ fuse to become a two-dimensional „picture“.

Chapter 1: A Joyous Science
Punkt James Hyde Chapter 2: Painting as the Space Between
Pfeil James Hyde Chapter 3: Medium and Form
Chapter 4: Material or Immaterial?
Chapter 5: Modeling
Chapter 6: Working Space
James Hyde. Between Bild and Built as print version (PDF 2.490 KB)