First Experiment

Guy Allott

2015, edition of 6


Grey Area presents a new series of technically intriguing woodcuts on the theme of science and investigation by Guy Allott. Guy Allott brings his usual technical authority and buoyant imagination to the world of science and experimentation. In the form of a series of 5 woodcut prints that investigate a world of low-fi scientific experiments. Following on from Allott's renowned Robots, and more recently Aliens woodcuts, in this new series Allott presents a world of lab experiments as carefully crafted studies of scientific vessels that compositionally and thematically take influence from traditional Dutch and Spanish still-lifes as well as expressionist printmaker Ernst Kirchner, Albrecht Dürer and the enlightenment. However Allott, as always, goes further than simply representing things pictorially, he also adds a curious narrative, rich with imagination and inventiveness. There is clearly some wizardry going on in these experiments, as small otherworldly chemical reactions seem to be happening. It is hard to tell what is being created here but we are being taken somewhere out of the ordinary, representing Guy Allott's search for Artificial Intelligence. Each image has a nostalgic charm which has one foot in the world of school science classes; Bunsen burners, conical flasks, test tubes, retort stands and clamps; an experimental style which perhaps has parallels to the romantic vision of the artist's studio, of homespun inventiveness and experimentation. But these works are also rich with grander themes referencing a wider existence, through religious and mystical iconography or even some form of alchemy. In fact each work has been hand carved and printed layer after layer, an activity in itself which requires extensive planning to go with the creative and experimental urge. Allott's meticulous 'reductive' woodcut process requires him to cut and print and cut and print again until his original printing board is nearly obliterated, leaving just the subtle but supremely confident printed image which represented by layer upon layer of overlapping ink. Every work captures a vital moment when that small but powerful explosion happens, depicted as a rather 'POP' event. A splash of bright and rather graphic imagery, a vivid spark within a softer, more refined image. A conceptual and literal overlapping of thoughts, ideologies and representational styles that is typical of Guy Allott's work. Available framed at 900 euros.

Image size: 260mm x 360mm
Paper size: 360mm x 460mm
Framed size: 400mm x 500mm

Materials: Woodcut print on paper

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First Experiment by Guy Allott
First Experiment by Guy Allott