28.02 – 07.04.2108
A sole exhibition by Andrew Sutherland
Nothing on the surface of the earth is unmapped. The remotest parts of our planet now boast permanent residences or tourist groups. To truly find the contemporary unmapped, one needs both imagination and narrative in the face of adventure. Delving into his extensive archive of National Geographic and nature books found at second-hand markets Andrew Sutherland charts a subtle journey of artistic exploration into colour and pictorial space. The range of works in this his 4th solo exhibition at Salon 91 read, in part, like a latitude chart of environments ranging from deserts to icier Polar Regions. The works enact an imaginary dwarfing of the single figure bearing witness to the scene, inviting the viewer to clasp the dream of untouched land with a sprinkling of active imagination.
The historical idea of the explorer is someone who visits a place with little or no human presence; this was usually associated with remote spaces. Today’s adventurers have to seek the possibly less remote but more unpopular places to enact a remembrance of self-dependence as the Antarctic and Mount Everest become ever more popular with adventure tourists. The yearning for a solitary confrontation with the majestic natural reveals the ironic truth that one has to be a little bit alone to feel truly connected.
It’s a curiously exciting time to be alive. Progress on interplanetary travel has recently taken a leap forward with Elon Musk’s Teslar now on it’s way to Mars. The Internet and social media enable us to be constantly in communication with one another and yet we feel more alone than ever before. Andrew Sutherland’s exhibition approaches all these contradictory feelings, providing micro-narratives within the colour shifts and foliage of his canvases that suggest the deepest impulses behind our technology and progress may be the simple yearning to confront our humanity in the spaces of the unmapped.