On Today features an installation of 64 charcoal drawings of a single form. For the past few months Watts has been repeating this single composition daily in order to reach the final amount. It is an exercise in finding moments of grace and appreciating unintended errors within the slog of daily routine.
The form employed in the composition appears as a seemingly universal image. Yet, while alluding to familiar forms it strays away from any particular iconography or object. On Today not only explores the quiet singularities within quotidian labor, but also the interpretation of the holistic result of that labor. Wanting to not only exhibit the inner workings and conceptual drivers of the artist, the project also employs the thoughts of Dr. Gary Slater, a philosophy academic based in Austin, TX.
While a myriad of interpretations are possible when viewing the installation, the experience is always singular and subjective. Just as the drawing changes day to day due to the weather conditions, the materials, the artist’s disposition, etc., so too can the interpretation differ. It is possible for an individual to experience the work differently with each viewing depending on the breeze. As Ad Reinhardt succinctly addressed abstract paintings in one of his cartoons, “You get from it what you bring to it. It will meet you halfway but no further. It is alive if you are. It represents something and so do you.” The work exists in the space in between the image and the onlooker. This space, marked as the encounter, is when the true work of art takes form. The essay of Dr. Slater is but one of these spaces. His particular take will be on display during the course of the exhibition as well as in a forthcoming book version of On Today.
Lump is located at 505 S. Blount St, Raleigh, NC. More information about our mission and exhibition programs can be found at lumpprojects.org.