Jonathan Brewer


750 Delaware, Detroit, MI, 48202
6 JULY AND 7 JULY 2013
Also a cassette release event on 6 July from 11am-2pm at Trinosophes. 1464 Gratiot, (Eastern Market) Detroit.


INCA is proud to present an exhibition by resident Jonathan Brewer. This marks the first resident at INCA who is a painter, although, as can be expected, even studio work in Detroit is strongly marked and influenced by the city.

Brewer writes about his new work:

The work I have done during my INCA residency is a series of paintings without paint. My process involved ink stains and graphite traces on hand-sewn patchwork. Hand sewing is a time-consuming, and therefore nurturing act. Usually one only sews by hand to repair something that was previously created in a factory. The act of making these paintings is a kind of metaphor for the narrative of Detroit as a regenerating community.

The INCA house itself is a source of inspiration. The dining room has a dado rail, above which there was probably a tapestry. The austerity typical of an exhibition space is destabilized by the dual nature of the INCA house: it is both domestic and public. My works likewise have a distinctly dual materiality: they appear rugged but they are also soft. Visually they function as paintings but they are slightly satirical in that they are also household objects. The works will be installed holistically around the house and garden, using the architecture details.

To produce the works, I worked mostly in the back garden. The paintings took shape on the clothesline as I soaked fabric in ink and graphite and then hung it to dry. In Detroit in the summer, thunderstorms can open up above you without warning. I decided that if it started raining while I had paintings drying in the garden I would just let them get wet again. This caused much of the ink to wash out and the colors of the paintings are paler then they would have been otherwise. I spread one piece of grey cotton covered in powdered graphite across the mulch to dry and it got soaked in one of these afternoon torrents. The next day when the morning sun had dried the cloth I found the pattern of the mulch had formed in the graphite.

In addition to the paintings, I also recorded a musical work at the Tempermill recording studio in Royal Oak. Conceptually the two projects are partners. Both take specific influences from the Detroit environment. I asked local musicians to express themselves freely within a predetermined musical structure. My directions ranged from precise to ambiguous but my focus was on maintaining adherence to the process, regardless of my own personal taste, until my presence was only a background shadow, allowing the musicians to choose their own musical path free of singular authorship.

We would like to thank the musicians:
Alex Trajano – drums
Erik Gustafson – guitar
Andrew Bishop – sax
Tim Flood – Bass



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