The Textures of Solitude

FOST Gallery, in collaboration with Silverlens Galleries, is delighted to present The Textures of Solitude by Nicole Coson and Bernardo Pacquing. It will be the first time the artists are showing together in Singapore.

The exhibition will feature new works from ideas first gestated during the pandemic. As the world suddenly shuttered and the artists retreated into their studio spaces, which in Pacquing’s case, was also his temporary living space, each found ways through their respective art practices to deal with the physical limitations and emotional upheavals. Coson’s three paintings are an extension from her Exoskeleton series. Made by monotype printing of Venetian blinds, her monumental paintings (two of which are almost four metres in width), the alternating strips of blank canvas between the stark black lines both regulate what can be revealed and what should be concealed, negotiating between the private with the public. But it also calls into question if we are on the inside looking out, or the outside looking in? During these past intervening years of abnormality, who had to be kept away was almost as important as who has to be kept within. In contrast, Pacquing’s paintings are a build-up of paint and other materials, creating an opaque, viscous curtain. Unlike Coson’s paintings which invite the viewer to “see through”, Pacquing’s works invite the viewer to see what’s under. Clues as to what lies beneath the top layer of paint can be found in the edges of the canvas, in the incidental splatters and splodges.

What connects these two artists is their focus on materiality and process. Both are partners with, rather than dictators of, their chosen materials. Coson’s printing process captures every shift in the slats, and they seem to be dancing to an invisible rhythm. It also captures the imprint of the slow disintegration of the blinds as they bear the brunt of the press. Pacquing’s fascination with found objects and unusual painting material is well-known: in some of these new works, he uses material such as tar and roof paint, some of which need boiling to achieve a certain viscosity that commercial art paints cannot provide. Both Coson’s and Pacquing’s processes require tremendous physical effort. Coson’s analogue printing press, affectionately named “Big Bertha” is hand operated and printing three sets of blinds on a single large canvas is performative in itself. For his Strata of Thought series, Pacquing mimicked the gestural movements of screen printing by rolling out thick blobs of custom made paint onto his canvas, but without the fluidity of traditional printing inks, his process requires an intensity of focus and core strength.

The exhibition marks the second collaboration between FOST and Silverlens, and is part of an on-going effort to show their respective stable of artists with a network of like-minded galleries.

Stephanie Fong, Founding Director of FOST Gallery, says “I am very excited to finally be able to reciprocate the hospitality of Isa and Rachel and the Silverlens team. It was also a privilege to be able to work so closely with Nicole and Bernie, having admired their works from afar.”

The exhibition essay is by Louis Ho.

FOST Gallery
1 Lock Road #01-02, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108932
+65 6694 3080

Opening hours:

Tue-Sat: 11am-7pm
Sun/Mon/Pub Holiday: Open by appointment