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Review: Agnes Denes: Work 1967 - 2013 @ firstsite, Colchester!

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Review: Agnes Denes: Work 1967 - 2013 @ firstsite, Colchester!

Included within the exhibition is a selection of over 50 drawings and prints undertaken by Agnes Denes between 1967 and 2013.

Across Work 1967 – 2013 is a fluidity within the mathematical forms which withhold a certainty within their numbers and folding structures. Denes breathes and manipulates mathematical dimensions into new realities forming a movement of line in space, exposing the coordinates of reality.

Denes thought processes are described within drawings that are heightened by the technicality of execution and transformations of information. There is a powerful potency within the intellectualisation of the contextualisation within the blurb /text creating a dialogue with the work which some viewers may find results in mapping space of new knowledge locked within linear grids entwined with rules.

There is a chaos within the complexity and limitations within the significance of recognisable forms which strike a relationship with existence. The universality of the language and line and the language of the line creates a duality and engagement of forms floating within a balanced, sublime and even equilibrium.

The systems of numbers synthesise a system based on logic creating a calculated composition interacting with formulated forms engraining an essence of a coded reality. This is prominent within works such as Dialectic Triangulation: a visual philosophy, series VII, where a desire for the stability of the triangular form which charts links to psychological and sociological structures such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is established. This series of drawings is based upon organic pyramid forms which propose a relativistic and timeless sense of existence, creating an almost cyclic transcendental structure to Denes work.

Although the drawings can be misunderstood, they still exist counter to misinterpretation and understanding, formulated under structured conditions a viewer’s perceptions can never change the inherent essence and being of the drawings. Uncertainty is established in a commentary and conversation of future doubt woven within the sculptural subsidies in works such as Wheatfield A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan, 1982.


Words: Emily Godden



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