I lost my heart to a starship trooper
The exhibition has been curated by London-based art consultant Catherine Loewe, who says: ‘The exhibition’s title comes from the 1978 Hot Gossip song of the same name, and also refers to the artist Glenn Brown, who used the title for one of his paintings, a meticulous rendition of a Rembrandt. Through this appropriation, Brown united something old and almost sacred with something modern, and this, in part, was the genesis of the exhibition. While all of the featured works open up myriad lines of inquiry, from challenging notions of value and authorship to examining modern morality, the show is in essence about the artists’ relationship with the art historical canon, from Old Masters to the present.’ The theme alludes to the collective hysteria surrounding the art market and fuses the double Frieze Fairs, the Contemporary and the Masters, in this case blurring the distinguishing factors. The works in the exhibition include both traditional materials and the use of new technologies in a wide variety of media, from plasticine to video projection.
Wolfe von Lenkiewicz (b. 1966), is a British artist who studied Philosophy at York University, creates immaculately rendered compositions that mine familiar visual idioms from art history, creating ambiguous compositions that carefully examine what constitutes an original work of art. He is known for the reconfigurations of well-known images from art history and popular visual culture that question art historical discourses. Lenkiewicz’s ‘post-historic’ practice deconstructs the linearity of historical perspective to challenge our notions of past and present and delineate a new space that lies outside of history. Rather than relegating a painting to a time period, recent paintings by von Lenkiewicz can be viewed more accurately as a form of hybrid, a fulcrum between ages. The work in this exhibition ‘borrows’ from Jacques-Louis David’s (1748 – 1825) icon of the French Revolution, The Death of Marat, 1793, held in the collection at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, and Gerhard Richter’s Wolken, or cloud paintings, whose vaporescent forms create delicate sfumato brushwork around the figure of Marat. The painting hovers between past and present, engaging with both traditional craftsmanship and the readymade through the strategy of appropriation.
Gavin Turk (b. 1967) first came to prominence as a key member of the much- mythologised Young British Artists of the early 1990s, and his oeuvre consistently deals with issues of authenticity, identity, the ‘myth’ of the artist, and the authorship of a work of art. Presented for the first time in the UK, Large Transit Disaster (Blue, Copper & Ochre), 2013, is a seminal example of Turk’s on-going Transit Disaster series. Appropriations of appropriations, Turk takes on the iconography of Andy Warhol’s infamous Death and Disasters series, 1962-63, the imagery for which the Pop master took from newspaper photographs of fatal car accidents. Where Warhol’s repetitions of the images blunted their tragedy, Turk takes inspiration from the 1960s silkscreens to comment on contemporary British society. Rather than an American car, Turk uses the icon of the white transit van, a symbol of a disappearing era of working class Britain. The expressive shapes of the van’s distorted metal also allude to the underlying social tensions that led to the 2011 London riots. In recasting an iconic work from the annals of art history, Turk emphasises the power of artists to transform materials and question the uniqueness of creativity.
Artists Glenn Brown, Luke Caufield, Gordon Cheung, Stephane Graff, Henry Hudson, Nick Hornby & Sinta Tantra and Mariele Neudecker are also part of this exhibition.
21 Evesham Street, London W11 4AJ
12th January – 24th February 2017
Private View: Wednesday, 11th January, 6.30 – 8.30pm