Chisenhale Gallery presents a new body of work by London based artist Daniel Sinsel with his first solo exhibition in a public gallery. Sinsel’s small handcrafted paintings and sculptures explore classical themes of space, volume and illusion and combine art historical references with a personal iconography. He focuses on the nature of painting and the particular qualities and associations of the materials he uses – including silk and gold, as well as terracotta, pasta and nutshells.
While the depiction of the male form and sexual symbols were frequently deployed in Sinsel’s earlier work, a selection of these newer works focus on the architectural spaces used to frame these figures. Minimal architectural forms such as windows (with views), grids and columns are established as recurrent motifs and Sinsel traces out a folding out of planes and surfaces from the paintings to the three dimensional works. Shifting between illusory perspective and embellished surfaces, the new paintings become both sculptural and fetish objects, using established pictorial devices to reveal a form of dormant eroticism in the materials themselves.
In his precise compositions the artist makes use of a wide variety of materials and craft techniques, from fabric weaving to metalworking. Linen is often present as an explicit material component rather than as support for the painted image, complicating the function of the trompe l’oeil effects employed by Sinsel. As much as these mediums are chosen for their material characteristics, Sinsel is also interested in making evident the labour required to manipulate them. The intricate works become an index of the time invested in their making, the result of mental and meditative activity, rather than an emphasis on physical exertion or virtuosic ability.
Sinsel has spoken of living at the end of time and the associated questions this raises of ‘over production’ and entropy frame his key concerns of how value and meaning can be ascribed today. Sinsel’s work is intimate and revels in the pleasure of looking, consistently returning to a sense of the profane, which in these new works is somehow domesticated and tempered with gentle humour.
Daniel Sinsel (b. 1976, Germany) is based in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin and Sadie Coles HQ, London (both 2009). Recent group exhibitions include ‘Jerwood Contemporary Painters’, Jerwood Space, London; ‘The Concrete Show’ Galleria Franco Noero, Turin; ‘Matthew Brannon, Matthew Cerletty and Daniel Sinsel’, Office Baroque, Antwerp (all 2010); ‘Nus, Nudes’ Galeria Fortes Vilaca, Sao Paulo (2009) and ‘Beck’s Futures 2006’, ICA, London.