This new series of paintings extends Collins’ exploration of the status and context of the act of painting. In each of these paintings the conventional stretched canvas is supplanted by plastic casts of an array of objects - screwdrivers, cabinets, umbrellas, packages of underwear - that belie any unifying association. The mystery of their inclusion, these ghosts of paraphernalia, challenges the priority and prestige usually afforded to the painterly act. But painting is present here too, qualified in a novel manner that compels it to vie for prominence with its supportive stuff. The burnt sienna and green paint casually echo the tropes of abstract expressionism, but stop short of totemic definitude. It is a case of soil versus flower.
The sculptures in this exhibition explore similar themes by different means. Improbably upright, bronze casts of tortilla chips, toothbrushes, hairbands - so much lacey jetsam, strewn upward - the sculptures defy any dimensional imperative, elegant elaborations of that early instinct to pile and to prove our power to raise.
Graham Collins was born in Washington, D.C. in 1980. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
– Ellery Asher Ireland