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Nothing is More Real Than Nothing is a collaboration between artist Hanna ten Doornkaat and writer Daniel James.
The reclusive artist Ezra Maas is the subject of Daniel James' postmodern meta-biography. The special edition with visual contributions by artist Hanna ten Doornkaat has caught the attention of literary critics, who describe the book as ambitious, challenging, beautifully designed … a maze of allusion and illusion.
The exhibition takes its title from one of the many references hinted at in the textual palimpsest of 'The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas'. Correspondingly, Hanna ten Doornkaat creates her drawings in many layers, adding and obscuring marks with titles forming the final layer in reference to quotes or ideas that inspired the work.
The notion of the line in its relationship to drawing is central to ten Doornkaat's practice who describes her process as a dialogue between herself and the work. In response to the experience of confinement in recent years, her drawings increasingly push the boundaries of form, surfaces and framing. The conversations that begin between the lines become a colloquy of works assembled into sculptural still lives.
Reclusive artist Ezra Maas turned his back on fame and vanished without a trace while working on his final masterpiece. His body was never found. Discover the untold truth about the artist's life between the lines of Daniel James' words and Hanna ten Doornkaat's drawings.
Hanna ten Doornkaat is a German born artist who is based in the UK and holds an MA Sculpture from the Wimbledon School of Art. Her work has been exhibited widely in London and across the UK and internationally. She has curated major exhibitions and is a founding member of collaborative artists' initiative WhiteNoise Projects.
Daniel James is a novelist from Newcastle. A former journalist for national newspapers and magazines for over a decade, James was a finalist for young UK news writer of the year before he became an author. The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas is his debut novel and was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize.
Ezra Maas was a radical and visionary British-born artist who was known for his extreme secrecy, questions surrounding his identity, and his international cult following. Ezra Maas first became famous as a prodigy on the New York art scene in the late 1960s with a series of controversial artworks and installations, which were associated with radical ideas amidst accusations that his happenings induced psychosis, hallucinations, and violence. Maas’s work was often linked to the concept of the artist as shaman. Maas was notoriously reclusive and few photographs of him have ever been published, with rumours about his location and identity circulating since the 1960s and 70s. After many years working in seclusion, Maas disappeared under strange circumstances from his studio mansion in England in 2005 and is presumed dead. All enquiries about Ezra Maas should be directed to The Maas Foundation.
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