Brent Wadden


Jul 7 – Aug 13, 2022

Exhibition Details:
Brent Wadden:
Jul 7 – Aug 13, 2022

2/3F, 267 Itaewon-ro

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Above: Brent Wadden, Untitled, 2022, Hand woven fibers, wool, cotton and acrylic on canvas, image, 130 cm × 131 cm (51-3/16" × 51-9/16") © Brent Wadden

Pace is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new textile works by Brent Wadden, marking the artist’s first solo show at Pace’s Seoul gallery. The presentation will spotlight a series of handwoven paintings, all of which were completed this year.

Challenging the traditional definition of painting, Wadden’s handwoven geometric compositions on canvas engage with a wide spectrum of creative production, including fine art, craft, design, and folk art. While Wadden’s non-conformist attitude aligns with those of 20th century abstractionists, the artist’s work can also be understood in relation to contemporary issues surrounding labor, consumerism, and capitalism.

The exhibition takes its title from a Latin verb with multiple meanings: to weave, to punish, to beat, and to blame. As such, the title Plecto has clear connections with Wadden’s abstract woven works and also points to ambiguities of language and linguistics. Wadden describes his woven artworks as paintings and, through his practice, he mines the art historical canon and the value of folk traditions in contemporary culture, offering a critical perspective on economies of artistic production.

Abstract Expressionism and Bauhaus textiles have been major influences on Wadden’s work, which investigates the possibilities of geometric abstraction and oftentimes features plays of vibrant color. Wadden’s clearly defined compositional grids, which contain rhythmic and bold diagonals, are in dialogue with Agnes Martin’s grid paintings and Frank Stella’s geometric experimentations. The artist has also cited the impact of Anni Albers and the contributions of many unacknowledged women weavers on his practice.

By way of his deliberate, laborious process, Wadden imbues his works with layers of meaning and varied formal qualities. The artist painstakingly sources secondhand fabrics and yarns for his works, sometimes unraveling knitted blankets or clothing. He creates pencil sketches of his works based on his materials. The artist frequently incorporates found materials into his compositions, and he once said, “Reusing materials offers something different—often, the yarn tells me what to do with it.” Wadden stretches and frames his woven textiles over canvases as if they were paintings, further complicating the preconceived hierarchies between different disciplines based on media, functionality, and gendered associations.

His process requires highly meticulous and repetitive movements that follow a linear progression. His textiles must be woven line by line, with each new layer marking the passage of time. The production of Wadden’s textiles is as significant as their aesthetic content. Through his practice, Wadden pushes back against the demands of rapid and mechanized production and the deleterious effects of consumer culture and capitalist thinking.

The progressions and sequences of forms and shapes in Wadden’s compositions reflect the unique narratives and histories steeped in each work. Wadden’s interest in storytelling is apparent in the deliberate inconsistencies in his textiles. These intentional “mistakes” serve as visual disruptions, revealing a tension between the highly regulated weaving process and the spontaneity with which Wadden approaches art making.

Central to Wadden’s practice is the collapse of the hierarchies and binaries surrounding artistic mediums and movements. While his painterly interests are evident in his lyrical compositions, Wadden also engages viewers in a rich historical and cultural dialogue that extends beyond the pictorial planes of his works.


About the Artist

Brent Wadden produces abstract woven works that bring together traditions of painting, design, craft, and folk art. Mounting his handwoven textiles on canvas, Wadden complicates notions of medium by transposing craft techniques into the realm of painting. Through warp and weft, Wadden’s practice embraces the variations and glitches that emerge through a process of repetition, revealing subtle disruptions in the accumulation of line, color, and form.

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