Gabriel Hartley’s first exhibition with z2o Sara Zanin Gallery consists of paintings, drawings and sculptural reliefs made by the artist at the beginning of 2018 during his residency as Abbey Fellow in Painting at the British School at Rome.
In these works the idea of spoiling something, of purposefully pushing it to the point of ruin, is celebrated as a moment in which new interpretations are forced upon an object. Hartley describes a method of creation whereby paintings are found as much as composed through patient layering and excavating - he uses an angle grinder to carve away paint, scarring the surfaces (be it canvas, wood or paper) in the process. The resulting picture plane holds scattered information, where various images and thoughts come in and out of focus. Colors advance and recede, surfaces rise and fall.