WES MILLS – sublime and evocative drawings

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I think I would hesitantly describe Wes Mills as a minimalist. Whether or not he would agree with my description remains to be seen.Having accidentally stumbled across his work, which featured as CD cover art for David Sylvian’s “Nine Horses” project, I was struck by how much he was able to convey with such an economy of means.

Mills works primarily with graphite, paring down his subject into diffuse shapes suspended in neutral space. Oftentimes using highly simplified gestural markings to define his subjects, they are in the main, almost stains or minute barely discernable blots and lines. Yet within these preternatural gestures, Mills has managed to bring a deeply spiritual, meditative perspective to his work, bringing to mind the work of Rothko, Beuys, and more recently, Anish Kapoor. Indeed, having leafed through Kapoor’s recent monograph of drawings, there is quite a striking similarity in the spareness of form, and the way that graphite has been blown onto the surface of the work, giving it a gaseous, spectral effect.

Having now seen the breadth and depth of Mills’ work for a host of galleries worldwide, he has apparently taken on board a minimalist ethic, that of attempting to shave away anything decorative or unneccessary, anything that might betray a sense of pre-determination, or of craft. Rather, what is on offer here are a series of contemplative pieces, some almost doodles, some intricately worked, and reworked, sometimes with apparently unrelated lines or drawings within, but still so evanescent, so “barely there”, that we are left pondering their significance. For me, these pieces are intensely private, intimate meditations, fetishes, the introspective work of an artist highly connected with his own spirituality. Like Beuys, Mills’ works at first appear to be ephemeral, casual, almost disposable, but closer inspection reveals the hand of a master, and an artist worthy of further investigation. BGN http://www.hosfeltgallery.com/HTML/artists/WesMills.htm

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About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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