STYX Project Space is pleased to announce 20:1, the first solo exhibition of London-based artist E.M.C. Collard.

The title, 20:1, refers to the scale shift in the paintings that form the main part of the exhibition. Here, densely layered images give rise to a unique collage technique dictated partially by chance. In the diptych Zahnderzeitpasta Delta Second (2007), for instance, a kitsch postcard image of a sunrise seems to have been sat on top of graph paper, while paper dots from a hole-puncher - each enlarged to the approximate size of a fist - form an integral part of these narratives-as-image, which only someone with a pronounced poetic sensibility could pull off.

Then there's the toothpaste. A red-white-blue whirligig snaking its way through many of these paintings, Collard mixes paint with actual toothpaste in order to get the chalky effect that smudges its way into the canvas. These paintings form a series, "Zahnderzeitpasta", which refers to the German colloquial expression, "the tooth of time" translatable into English as the ravages of time. In Zahnderzeitpasta 4.1 fragment (2007), the toothpaste takes up the entire background, while we are forced to contend with a decrepit black object, half phallic and half fecal, in the foreground. It takes the eye a minute to recognize this as two burnt matches, tied together by thread to form a cross and stuck into the pile of dental hygiene product, magnified some twenty times. The discordant combination of colors is what endows this painting - a fragment, according to its creator - with its winning combination of brashness and vivacity.

Whether she's giving us rotten broccoli, burnt matches, or toothpaste, E.M.C. Collard's art distinguishes itself through a rambunctious sensibility that values distortion and magnification as investigative tools. Endlessly inventive, hers is a provocation that need not overstate itself. Oscillating between the expressionistic and figurative, E.M.C. Collard is a new type of abstract painter - one content to define her own terms in assigning new visual identities to everyday objects.

E.M.C. Collard was born in Frankfurt am Main. She studied at the Royal College of Art, Slade School of Fine Art, and Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, where she currently lives and works. In 2007/ 08 she curated the touring exhibition "Divination" with Michael Rade and Juniper Daumier, which showed works by 20 international artists. Her work has been shown in Great Britain, Germany and France.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an essay by London based critic and curator Martin Holman.

Opening Reception: 8 July 2009, 7-10 pm

Duration: until 29 July 2009

Opening hours: Thursday-Sunday, 2-3 pm or by appointment.