M N M L V M X M L is a survey of work from the past 18 months that showcases new drawings, works on paper and paintings by Melbourne based artist Rehgan De Mather. After receiving the 2011 Sandra Bardas Studio Grant – a 12-month professional studio residency at Richmond’s Appleton Street Studios – Rehgan began his latest chapter by returning to basics.
Central to Rehgan’s work is his process. Instead of drop sheets, Rehgan lays canvas across his studio floor to capture ‘the marks left behind’. Paint splatters, stencils and footprints create grounds and marks that will eventually be selected, sliced and sampled in some as yet unrealised artwork. The same fate will befall older works that have for one reason or another fallen foul of favour. Together these remnants will sit, patched next to miscellaneous objects – a new masterpiece, wholly unrecognised from the sum of its parts.
A young veteran of 19 solo shows and dozens of group exhibitions across Australia, Rehgan’s work has become recognizable for its appearance of chaos yet love of order. Through reconstructing what he refers to as ‘contemporary leftovers’ Rehgan has created a signature of noise throughout past work. Then in 2011, Rehgan returned to drawing. His minimal brand of line making draws on the faces and personalities around him. A cast of coconspirators initiated into his paradoxical process; sampling, chopping, adding and subtracting, at once anticipating the past, honouring the present and recording the future. But this time the line remains intact. Paused, noble.