Rod Barton is currently exhibiting a two-person exhibition with Chris Hood and Carl Mannov. While working with different mediums, both artists explore what an image is, how it can be constructed and how that is informed and translated in the digital age. 

Chris Hood's canvases merge styles from painting's history with iconographies of pop culture. Using thinned out paint and working from the reverse of the canvas, Hood's painting technique recalls Van Gogh's painterly strokes and Color Field abstractions. They are inhabited by droopy cartoon characters, eyes and hearts and their being set within bright and colourful palettes destabilizes and reflects Hood's investigations of how a painting can be the site of a projection and simulation. 

In Freudian terms, projection is an act of displacing emotional trauma or other undesirable behaviour upon another person or character in order to cope at a distance with their own relationship to it. These paintings reflect how one can impose that through image construction and reference. Hood is interested in how image forms are used for that purpose in contemporary culture and how they can act as archetypal activators of pictoral and emotional content. Cartoon personas, or mascots, found in online advertisements as well as emojis in cellphones form a contemporary cuneiform. The textbox as Rosetta Stone. Borrowing from this hyper real vernacular, the paintings are made in a physical and material way that informs their content as well as their perceptual qualities. 

Carl Mannov's concrete tablets are also sites of evidence and reflect the history of process. In addition, they investigate the construction of an image and incorporate elusive symbologies that feel both ancient and contemporary. He creates casted sunken reliefs with inward rifts in the concrete that make up the drawings, these negatives of the mold are made with acrylic paste through which he can make lines. The tenuousness of this process results in loose compositions and unpredictable visual returns. This intensive process of casting the works in contrast to the looseness of mark making is a primary fascination in constructing these works.

For Mannov the thought of taking something as figuratively flimsy and slippery as the two-dimensional line drawing and literally setting it in stone attracts him and motivates his interest in thinking about images and their permanence. The constant stream of images that society produces and encounters everyday on their electronic devices, such as tablets, and our physical relationship to them in the way we hold, swipe and tap them is being thought about when making these works as well as how that relates to making sculpture and the process of constructing form and image through material processes. 

Chris Hood and Carl Mannov
Rod Barton, May 8 - June 13