The fold is a recurring motif in Tauba Auerbach’s works, acting as both the subject and the form of a series of paintings. Auerbach uses a gradually refined process to paint manifestations of the folds she has given her canvases. At first glance, the folds appear to be trompe l’oeil renderings of an imaginary, once-folded state. Rather than being representative, these canvases express actual folds that occurred in time.
Auerbach collapses the 3-dimensionality of the folded state onto the 2-dimensionality of the flat stretched canvases by spraying a range of tones of a single colour onto the folded object. By recording a past state onto the finished work, this process produces paintings that exist in what the artists calls ‘the 2.5th dimension’. These optical conundrums are able to destabilise our basic assumptions about the reliability of vision, and open our eyes to the delight of temporary disconnections with an observable reality. By reifying the process of their own making, Auerbach’s Fold paintings sidestep the cultural chasm between illusion and abstraction and open up a space of possibility for a new kind of realism.