Ezra Gray at Emalin

Artist: Ezra Gray

Exhibition title: Joech God

Venue: Emalin, London, UK

Date: July 4 – August 4, 2018

Photography: Plastiques / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Emalin

Emalin is pleased to announce Joech God, a solo exhibition of new works by the Canadian artist Ezra Gray.

I‘ve been watching a lot of tennis highlights. I’ve never played, so I can’t say that I understand the physical part of it.

From a televised view, watching from above, I imagine tennis to be a lot like drawing – not because of the frame of the court (while it doesn’t hurt the comparison), but because tennis player and draftsman both face the challenge of following two points at once: in tennis, the two points I’m talking about are the ball and the opponent; in drawing (from life, or from reference) it could be the subject and the point of a pencil, or the point of a pencil and another place on the page.

Tennis appears to be a matter of prediction – where is the ball going, and where is an opponent prepared to go? – while a drawing from life is a collection of separate observations about a subject, ferried through the body in some form of memory or afterglow, and reintegrated onto the page. (From a modernist perspective, one way of looking at style is as a purposeful amplification of flaw; and yet to anyone actually concerned with mimesis there must be something ridiculous, if not comedic, in imagining Modigliani painting someone from life.)

My question is: if we were to have two independently moving, lizard-like eyes, capable of fixing onto two entirely separate points, how would we draw or play tennis? Would drawing be like tracing, and tennis like target practice? With this adaptation, drawings would be drawn and points would be scored, but something fundamental about the game would be lost; whereas with metaphor, as a practical comparison, in essence a duality, are we really capable of holding in the mind both sides simultaneously? There must be something gained and something lost in merging two things, while overlooking the ether that separates them.

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, oil on canvas, 61 x 46 cm

Ezra Gray, Only the homely, 2018, oil on canvas, 76 x 61 cm

Ezra Gray, Medley, 2018, oil on canvas, 76 x 61 cm

Ezra Gray, Perp Walk, 2018, oil on canvas, 76 x 61 cm

Ezra Gray, Chad, 2018, oil on canvas, 61 x 76 cm

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Joech God, 2018, exhibition view, Emalin, London

Ezra Gray, Untitled, 2018, pencil and watercolour on paper, 30.5 x 46 cm

Ezra Gray, Untitled, 2018, pencil and watercolour on paper, 30.5 x 46 cm

Ezra Gray, Untitled, 2018, pencil and watercolour on paper, 30.5 x 46 cm

Ezra Gray, Untitled, 2018, pencil and watercolour on paper, 30.5 x 46 cm

Ezra Gray, Untitled, 2018, pencil and watercolour on paper, 30.5 x 46 cm

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