Axel Geis | David Henderson

Solo shows

Axel Geis - Serendipity

Slag & RX is pleased to announce Serendipity the first solo exhibition of work by the painter Axel Geis at the gallery. The show features a selection from Geis' most recent paintings.

The beauty of Geis' work lies in an unpredictable juxtaposition of loose, expressive brush strokes and precisely painted figures, resulting in an aura of mystery that inhabits each painting. The protagonists are rarely whole, either masked in anonymity or chafed out, seemingly floating on the picture frame like phantoms in a vision. Taking references from film and newspaper, Geis disjoints the characters from their habitual environment and imports them into a foggy land of defined and expressive brushstrokes, creating paintings that feel like a memory materialized.

The drapery of a dress and the shine of a torero costume are the few glimpses of the context that lies beneath the surface of the painting. The characters are familiar, but their surroundings are out of reach, except for a chance name or recognizable costume. What matters most to Geis is the mark and the appearance of color, its thickness, fluidity, translucency, opaqueness, and brilliance. With complete control of his brush, Geis perfectly articulates the subject where needed while leaving the rest ostensibly undone. The result is an engaged and meticulously layered timeless and nostalgic composition.

David Henderson - Disturbances

Slag & RX is pleased to announce Disturbances, the first solo exhibition of work by the sculptor David Henderson at the gallery. The show features a selection of significant works dating from 2019 to present.

"First Impressions of David Henderson's laminated plywood sculptures are of fluid expansion and graceful displacement of space. Their organic, abstract surfaces, vaguely reminiscent of a terraced landscape, a stingray, or a shell, belie their meticulous creation". -Sarah Tanguy

In Disturbances, Henderson focuses on the movement of simple shapes in space, taking triangles and circles and translating them via computer into digital structures that are then realized entirely by hand. Henderson's pieces are suspended at the borderline of technology and hand carving, fluctuating between ideal mathematical models and organically glorious forms. On the surface, the two bodies of work in this show seem to be in conflict, fire vs water, hard edges vs fluid curves, quasi-figurative helixes vs undulating topographies, but they are grounded in his process of transformative geometry. By selecting natural materials and hand carving the structures, Henderson strives to make the forms as light as possible while also highlighting the pieces’ organic origins.  

The structures aspire to the abstract purity of their computerized counterparts; their beauty lies in the confrontation between material possibility and mathematical theory. Edges break down when they become too thin; wood grain defies purity of surface. The Firebirds’ jagged edges and the wood’s unique grain show the true beauty of imperfection. Despite their blemishes and fractured edges, the Firebirds rise out of the ashes and show us something beautiful and powerful, welcoming life after these tumultuous years of devastation and loss.  A subtle tension between mathematical and organic lies at the core of Henderson's work, a continuous interplay between the ideal of geometrical rendering and the expressive essence of a hand-carved universe. Conceptually, Henderson’s pieces reference nature: the wings of a bird, the rippling of water, but interpreted through a double mirror of transformation, from nature to a computerized ideal and then back to nature.