Carl Kostyal – Al Freeman: Painting

15 October - 24 October, 2021

Freeman makes large-scale replicas in loosely-stuffed pleather of banal, everyday objects that have been robbed of their branding but remain instantly recognisable commodities: the cracked iPhone, a jar of vaseline, a highlighter pen, a light bulb, among others. In her hands, such objects are ironically deflated and transformed into sagging objects that sink into themselves, weary of form.  

For her first solo exhibition with Carl Kostyál in the London gallery, Freeman has chosen the essential tools of the business of installing and documenting art as the objects of her wickedly clever and wry scrutiny.  A spirit level, a tape measure, a Stanley knife, a paint tube, a tube of toothpaste (just to keep us on our toes), a pizza box (for those late night installs) and majestically, the reverse of landscape format painting complete with gallery labels – Freeman takes each of these humble or unseen aspects of the mechanics of hanging paintings in an exhibition out of the toolbox and thrusts them boldly centre stage, transforming them into the objects they usually serve to mount, monumentalised, immortalised in vinyl and polyfil. 

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