Alexis Harding Substance and Accident

11 May - 23 June 2012


Alexis Harding, Crack Tip (Unraveller), 2012 (detail)
Oil and gloss on MDF, 244 x 122 cm

Mummery + Schnelle is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent work by Alexis Harding.

The relationship between what has happened, and what has been done, is not always clear in Alexis Harding's work. Nor is the status of the material his practice corrals into place a clear cut question of cause and effect, or of the essential and the superfluously contingent. An awareness of questions of agency and possibility, the structures in which these occur, and the ways in which these react back upon one another are part of the disruptive but fecund power of his paintings.

Recent paintings demonstrate a technical approach in some respects unchanged
from earlier work, but are offered up as a difference on another level, like the same sound caught by differently configured microphones. A gradated spectrum of gloss paint poured through a partitioned container and moved across a surface of wet oil colour on panel is a recent organising principle. These panels often take a regularised format, the 8' x 4' of a standard mdf sheet, or perhaps the circular tondo form. The upper skin of the paint in some of these works has left incremental ridges depending on interruptions of its journey across the surface, these ridges acting as a different sort of graphic trace to the initial frictionless pouring.

For all their arresting power, these paintings remain in some way spare or frail, a
trail of matter. Some of the results coincide with certain other sorts of
matrices: practices of looking, aesthetic paradigms and models. The paintings can present a grand aspect here, a baroque dynamism there, and recently, a new sort of blankness or lack of modulation, seeming to emphasise the 'thingness' of the works, the way they articulate with the architecture of their display, and a new sharpening of their address to our mobile bodily encounter with them. *

* These passages have been taken from a text by Stuart Elliot commissioned to accompany Alexis Harding’s exhibition.

Alexis Harding was born in London in 1973. He studied at Goldsmiths College from 1992-95. He lives and works in London.

For further information, please contact
Laurent Cottier (
or Rodrigo Orrantia (

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Alexis Harding:
Substance and Accident

by Stuart Elliot
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