Jonathan Viner Gallery (closed)
October 10–November 8, 2014

28 Old Nichol Street
E2 7HR London

Jonathan Viner is pleased to present GOLIAD, Will Boone’s first solo exhibition in Europe. The show introduces a new series of paintings which evolved from previous works which superimposed the letters of a word (also the paintings title) on the canvases’ surface, thereby treading a fine line between legibility and abstraction. Boone’s new paintings investigate these notions of codes of communication, symbology and subjective meaning by applying the process of layered stenciling to a various configurations of numbers. Numbers like 911, the emergency phone number in the US which is also the date the the Wold Trade Center was attacked, have significance in mainstream American culture and the collective American unconscious but are bound to carry an utterly different meaning outside of that context.

Go It Alone, the large spray painted canvas at the front of the gallery, carries gestures of spontaneity which offset the meticulous execution of the numerical paintings. This series of work developed from Boone’s research into the history of symbols used by hobos traveling America in the 1930s and 40s. Hobo Code was used as a way to communicate advice and warning within this community, a secret language which helped vagabonds find warm shelter and avoid ill-tempered hosts. Boone initially appropriated the symbols but soon began to incorporate his own characters, again complicating the relationship between meaning and abstraction.

The exhibition also includes four sculptures, Mercy Seat I-IV, constructed with the frame of removable van seats. The forms bear remarkable resemblance to the compositions in the letter paintings, emphasizing the transition from letter to abstraction and extending this notion to a three dimensional manifestation. The benches represent a narrative of temporality and movement, going in and out of a vehicle which itself is constantly in motion. Like the symbols and numbers that define as sculptures the seats transcend their duty as functional objects and become something seductively unfamiliar.