From January 8 to March 5, 2022, Almine Rech Paris is happy to present Brent Wadden’s fourth exhibition at the gallery. The artist will show a dozen pieces produced in late 2021.
In its apparent simplicity and elegance, Brent Wadden’s work embraces its decorative purpose. This absence of preconceived ideas is closely linked to the artist’s background and his points of reference.
When asked about the foundations of his work, Wadden mentions growing up and studying in Nova Scotia, where folk art is an integral part of the social fabric and plays an important role in local museums.
His early absorption of folk art and his exposure to crafts explain his interest in local traditions. Wadden lists as influences the quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama (which fascinated him early on), Japanese boro, and Moroccan Boucherouite rugs. Although their origins are different, these pieces — whether they are quilts, weavings, pieces of fabric, clothing, or rugs — have in common an evident freedom in their design, a modest relationship to materials, and a connection to skill (often self-taught). These creations involve slow manual work, which is far removed from our contemporary relationship to time. Their characteristics apply perfectly to Brent Wadden’s own work.
— Françoise-Claire Prodhon, art historian and art critic