Chris Tosic’s Untitled Logical Forms (the title referring to Wittgenstein’s analysis of forms underlying language) are at first sight a collection of small-scale non-representational paintings. Closer inspection reveals too precise lines, too sharp corners and a mechanically smooth finish, which suggests they have, at least largely, been printed. They could be the product of a home computer. This effectively updates the work from what might be original Constructivist, De Stijl or Bauhaus images, to those same, regurgitated by our current, possibly sterile and consumer lead, culture.
The pieces readily connect with their surroundings. The radiator in the HICA gallery, the result of the use of a domestic space, echoes immediately Untitled Logical Form 5 for instance, suggesting a more Duchampian interest. The space itself is a ‘modern conversion’: a type of modern design imposed onto older farm buildings. The images seem to ally themselves with the fate of the building, and almost disappear into their surroundings taking on the mantle of mass-produced art; the art of IKEA, B&Q, Argos even. In this way they present themselves as compromised things, but in a gallery context, perhaps suggest this as an opportunity, an opportunity to consider what is good and desirable about their state, and what isn’t, as there are better and worse aspects to the space they inhabit. Connecting all this with Wittgenstein might be proposing that the process underlying language, in this case a language of interior design as well as painting, is a much more complex issue than an idea of ‘logical forms’ might imply. It may be based on a muddle of imperfect individual understandings, taking ideas forward over time, a thought perhaps more in tune with Wittgenstein’s later ideas of meaning-as-use. If we consider how many conversations are taking place at any one time, how frequently words are employed, we can see what an enormously complicated process the slow incremental shaping of language appears to be.
The opportunity then is perhaps to reflect on how we judge the use of words or images. It is these judgements as they appear to each individual, which are the material of the work.
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