Top table: Richard Woods applies his graphic sensibility to ’Work Tables’

Top table: Richard Woods applies his graphic sensibility to ’Work Tables’

Those who have experienced the work of Richard Woods might liken it to falling into a comic strip or a passage out of Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland. Graphic, two-dimensional worlds are transposed onto a three-dimensional plane using woodblock prints. The result is a somewhat disorienting display.

Woods’ latest work follows a similar vein, this time applying an array of bold prints across 20 tabletops. Aptly titled ’Work Tables’, the series is presented as part of an exhibition of the same name at Friedman Benda Project Space this week.

Treating the tabletops as a storyboard, Woods lets the narrative unfold across each surface through layers of pattern and print. As with his other works, ’Work Tables’ employs an element of trompe l’oeil in the form of patterned tablecloths setting the stage for the story, while diverging in the use of stenciled silhouettes that bring each frame to life.

Side by side, the tables depict moments over the course of a meal with scenes such as ‘Get the Cat Off the Table (AJ)’ and ‘Outdoor Eating (MA)’. Each suggests a specific event in time, whether a disobedient cat on the table, a forgotten saw, or scattered picnic cutlery.

Visitors are invited to wind their way through the series, getting a glimpse into these abstracted moments, captured by Woods and reconstructed as vivid displays of form and colour. 

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