James Cousins’ new exhibition, Resident, presents a series of new works developing upon earlier thematic ideals and painterly constructs. These rich works create visually active, stimulating paintings that carry an appearance or currency of transmitted data.
In a completely digital age, Cousins’ accumulated layers delay and compound acts of looking. Optically challenging layered gestures combine and play off each other effecting moments of transition between presence and absence, departure or arrival. These works hang in the present and insist on the how of painting rather than the what. Cousins' employs a range of paint applications and excavation processes that in their execution seem concurrently highly orchestrated and precise yet also spontaneous and imprecise. These processes become accumulated in the layers the works forming a kind of record of rebukes and convalescence that temper the artist decision-making. It’s through these collated narratives that these works aim to rethink ways in which gestures designate or hold subjectivity.
James Cousins exhibits locally and internationally; earlier in the year his work was included in Necessary Distraction, at Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki.
The artist would like to acknowledge support from the University of Auckland, Elam School of Fine Arts PBRF Fund.