Curated by Day+Gluckman
06 March – 12 June 2013 at Collyer Bristow Gallery, 4 Bedford Row, Holborn, London WC1R 4DT
Dan Coombs, Emma Critchley, David Dipré, Aly Helyer, Annie Kevans, David Lock, Kate Lyddon, EJ Major & Boo Ritson
The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.” Robert Louis Stevenson
The portrait, the mask, the ownership of identity and the burden of historical portraiture can all be mined from the depiction of a person.
As Robert Louis Stevenson’s quote so clearly articulates, the desire we have as individuals to communicate with our fellow beings is a complex set of parameters and nuances. It is unsurprising that the use of the figure as subject remains a complex dilemma for an artist.
Often the figure is eradicated in contemporary art practice. Landscapes are barren, sculptures reject the hint of human intervention with pristine finishes, white cube galleries are a clinical platform. Immediately an emotive layer is added through the depiction of a person. Identity infects and affects works of art, how we read them and how they are produced. In this exhibition nine artists who work with the body as subject through paint, sculpture, collage and photography present a myriad of responses to our relationship with ourselves.
David Dipré uses the figure as a starting point to investigate the possibilities of the painted surface. For A House of Many Windows Dipré has created an assemblage of paintings and painted objects, all self-portraits, and presented almost as if a slice of the artist's studio has been transported to the gallery space. Whilst pushing towards abstraction this anthropological collection contain enough vestiges of the human to make affiliations with portraiture. Necks, eyes, mouths emerge from ephemera, concrete forms and conventional canvasses, in some cases acting as graphic ‘tags’ synonymous with personal identity and branding.
Full curators text can be read here.