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Tillie with assistant Bowman Hastie, curator Hannes Bend, and collaborator Wannes Lecompte
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Tillie and "Boundaries" collaborator Wannes Lecompte

Boundaries: Tillamook Cheddar & Wannes Lecompte

Boundaries are established to define and to separate. We encounter them in art and in life.

With this dual exhibition (Berlin/New York), two artists confront a series of boundaries-challenging themselves, each other, and the viewer.

Both artists are strikingly physical in their approach to the enclosed plane. Wannes LeCompte often chooses large surfaces that challenge his physical limitations-his reach-so that he must struggle for his brush to find the edge of the canvas. For smaller works he might otherwise constrain himself, so that his act of painting becomes a test of his body's range of motion. In concentrating on such physical limits, Wannes focuses on the edges of his paintings, on the margins rather than the center.

In viewing the paintings of Tillamook Cheddar, one sees a similar fixation on the periphery, especially with her larger works, where most of her marks are concentrated along the edges of the canvas. While it is her choice where to place her marks, the artist does not have the inherent power, as Wannes does, to ordain the dimensions of her canvas. This decision, along with many others regarding her paintings-color, specific materials, when and where she works-are left to her assistant, the author of this statement.

As a dog, Tillamook Cheddar faces a great many boundaries that human artists do not. To name a few, she is barred from entering most museums; it is unlikely that she will ever be accepted to art school; a great many humans refuse to take her seriously merely because of her species. Another boundary of sorts-her leash and all that it suggests-binds her to me. While I believe that Tillie is an artist in her own right, I realize that we are a collaborative team that, in the creation of art, often functions as a single entity.

In planning the Boundaries exhibitions, Wannes and I have decided that I will act in the capacity of assistant to both him and Tillie. The exhibitions will feature individual works by each artist; works produced collaboratively via post and Internet; and site-specific installations initiated by the artists inside the galleries. By collaborating with each other, Tillie and Wannes will confront the boundaries that bind and separate the three of us, while exploring the many boundaries that continue to bind and separate so many entities throughout the world.

F. Bowman Hastie III
Brooklyn, NY; June 2007

Images, more information about the artists at: www.tillamookcheddar.com   www.wanneslecompte.be