Matija Čop and Emily Kraus: A showcase

18 - 25 February 2023

A showcase of one painting by Emily Kraus and two sculptures by Matija Čop. Each are exploring the translation of sound to solid with unique machine-assisted processes.

Matija Čop presents two sculptures, I Have Already Come (2022, 220 x 60 x 60 cm, rubber and foam) and You Can Lean On (2022, 65 x 50 x 50 cm, rubber and foam). The artist draws his shapes from the sinusoidal waves of sound recordings. Its source is emotional, drawn from audio notes exchanged between the artist and his romantic partner. Rendering the wave into a digital sketch and into three dimensions, the artist flattens the curve into distinct pieces. He then extracts these shapes and laser-cuts hundreds of pieces of rubber-foam to form interlocking blocks like a puzzle. The artist then assembles the pieces into the physical version of the sculpture, exerting a final editorial level of control. The final sculpture is light and strong, each component part interlocked. I Have Already Come hangs from the ceiling at over human height at 220 cm. For Čop, he is capturing the shape of feeling. Representing the fallibility of memory, the difference between measurable shape and emotional resonance. In assembling the silhouette of the spoken word, the artist maps the space between expression and understanding. We see the distance between the shape of words as they exit the speaker's mouth and the effect on the receiving ear. They hold time, bottling the outline of humans passing through time trying to reach each other.


Emily Kraus presents Stochastic 11 (2023, 170 x 300 cm, oil on canvas) as an exemplary work from her Stochastic series. Kraus has developed a unique process to make paintings. The artist wraps a loop of stitched canvas around four metal poles attached to a cubic metal frame. She paints the poles, then rotates the canvas at differing intervals. The artist feels through the framework and paints by hand while allowing for splatters and wrinkles. The apparatus limits the scope of her vision, forcing her to hold a memory of surrounding marks while focusing on the visible section of canvas. This linear limitation of time is akin to the process of composing a musical score, only hearing one note at a time yet fitting it into the memory of its place in the score. The resulting painting, unstitched and displayed as stretched canvas, is a product of intuition and chance. Kraus has extended the capabilities of her body, now able to render large expressive marks at speed and scale. The vertical and curvilinear rhythms in her paintings keep the eye roving and alive. The viewer remains embodied, becoming aware of the space between self and other, sound and silence.


Matija Čop was born in Croatia and is based in London. He graduated from Royal College of Art in 2017. Čop's practice is based on translating introspective dissection of relations between materials, structures and systems that are based on mastering and personalising digital technologies but also contrasting it with the variety of manual skills and traditional art techniques. His practice intertwines several interdisciplinary approaches including soft sculpture, painting and printmaking. Three sculptures by the artist were acquired by the Centre Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art in Paris in 2021 and remain on permanent display. Additional institutional exhibitions include the Textile Art Biennial, 2021, Kranj, Slovenia, and Innovative Costumes of the 21 Century, 2019, Moscow, and Future Fashions, 2013, Eindhoven.


Emily Kraus was born in the United States and is based in London. She received her BA in Religious Studies at Kenyon College in 2017, and MA in Painting at Royal College of Art in 2022. Kraus has invented a hand-powered machine to produce paintings using oil on canvas. The artist's machines work by wrapping a loop of stitched canvas four metal poles on bearings on a metal frame. Her work has been exhibited internationally by Indigo+Madder Gallery, Guts Gallery, and The Stable Gallery in Switzerland, amongst others. Kraus' work is held in the collections of the Royal College of Art and the Simon Nixon Foundation. This year, Kraus won the Hopper Prize (2023).