Sebastian Dacey & Lucy Teasdale

04.03 – 23.04.2011

Sebastian Dacey (b. 1982) and Lucy Teasdale (b. 1984) have abstraction as the common ground for their paintings and sculptures. But where Dacey’s paintings can be seen as abstractions on the way to possible figuration, Teasdale’s sculptures are works with traces of recognizability. 

As a point of departure Lucy Teasdale takes photographs, which are already endowed with meaning. She finds her inspiration in historical photos as well as images from newspapers. From these photos she absorbs shapes that inspire her and transforms them into three dimensional pieces in different colors and materials. In this way a photo of Kaiser Wilhelm II becomes an abstract sculpture, which frees itself from the historical and political content of the photo. The sculptures do, despite the abstraction, contain some recognizable elements, which can give, from some viewpoints, the beholder the sensation of recognizability. These glimpses are though so fleeting that the works continuously open themselves to new possible readings.

Opposite Teasdale’s figurative starting point, Sebastian Dacey creates his paintings from nothing. Dacey takes his departure in a meaning-free approach towards the painting, where he empties himself for biased expectations to the paintings he begins. Such a project is though hard to accomplish as the works often reflect the artist as well as builds upon earlier works. This abortive project also comes to light when Dacey describes his works as monochromes gone wrong. The outset in the monochrome painting could be said to reflect Dacey’s preceding wish for meaning-emptying, but when the monochrome doesn’t succeed it is because shapes sneak into the painting and spoils the clean surface. Unintentionally the works come to contain a layer of meaning, which the beholder also tries to read upon in the meeting with the painting. 

Where Dacey cannot avoid dragging almost recognizable shapes out of the preceding nothingness, Teasdale drags abstraction out of the figurativeness of the photograph. The works meet in the middle, where the abstraction points both at recognizability as well as openness in the interpretation. Both their works draw the spectator into the abstraction in the search of meaning.   

Sebastian Deacey and Lucy Teasdale are both English – Dacey from London and Teasdale from Birmingham – and have both studied in Germany. Dacey studied at Akademie der Bildende Künste in Munich, with Günther Förg and Nikolaus Lang as professors, and graduated in 2008. Dacey today lives in Berlin. Teasdale lives in Düsseldorf, where she studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Professor Tony Cragg, and graduated in February 2010