Volume | Remi Rough

18/11/2018 – 20/1/2019
Moca Gallery | London | England

MOCA’s last exhibition for 2018 sees Remi Rough take over the space with a dynamic wall installation titled VOLUME. A large red circle intersects the architectural space and shifts between abstracted forms and into a complete performative shape, as viewers move around in the gallery. At a specific vantage point visitors are able to see the painterly construction as envisioned by the artist. Rough works with 2 dimensions but seduces us with the third and pushes beyond into the infinite.

Remi Rough’s abstract paintings have the energy of graffiti writing where his original inspiration and work started in 1980’s. His visual language developed and exists in relation to key moments in the history of modernism. As your eyes moves across the wall mural VOLUME, the lines, the hinted grids, and the abstract shapes create a staccato of visualisation. As Rough builds up the painting he plays music that fills the space. Looking at the final work you can sense the textural changes in sound as you notice the layers of colours and paint. VOLUME activates the space – some parts of the mural draw you close to the details of the spray paint, and others intensify your experience through its deep red colour and forces you to step back to take it in as a whole.

In Rough’s work you can see the influences of urban art and artists as well as Carmen Herrera, Bridget Riley and many more. This has given him a unique language. Working on canvas, walls, wood panels or paper, the materials he uses are integral to his painting. He makes us aware of the form, texture and details of the unpainted surface. They become part of the painting itself. There are parts of VOLUME that act almost as an optical illusion as shades of colour are painted over alcoves and skirting boards, making corners look flat and flat surfaces become 3 dimensional forms.

Rough’s work deals with the semantics of visualisation. He encapsulates the world around him and brings the history of abstract painting into his compositions. He masters the moment of “knowing when to stop” or when to add that one thin line of pink to complete the composition. The paintings are perfectly balanced but this momentum of perfection unbalances our visual experience both intellectually and emotionally as our gaze shifts through a cartography of reference points.

VOLUME is shaped around a circle. Covering three walls and cutting into a door opening. Visually the circle isn’t complete but looking at it, it is hard to not see a perfect circle.

Roberto Ekholm