Vor der Sintflut is a signed limited edition that brings together a collection of drawings and collages made for a solo exhibition in Basel, Switzerland. The 27 drawings in ink, biro, pencil and collage illustrate the complex dialogues running through Isaacs’ work. The images range from straight, dribbling sketches of a spider’s web to a more humorous, but rich, image of a unicorn with a broken horn.
Accompanying the images is a collaged text combined from a number of sources, all of which have in some way influenced his work. However, their presentation denies their authors: each text is jumbled together in a seemingly meaningless combination, removing the clarity of their original message. As with his other work, Isaacs’ mode of production works to transform the information he works with into something both enigmatic and elucidating.
Through his humorous mixing of appealing optimism with abject pessimism, Isaacs examines our historically and culturally determined conventions. In so doing, the artist makes no distinctions between high and low, finding instead that all things have their root in the same base instincts.
John Isaacs was born in Lancaster, UK in 1968 and studied at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Dijon in 1990; completed a BA in fine art at Cheltenham Art College in 1991, and an MA in sculpture at London Slade School of Art in 1993.
He has exhibited extensively on an international level. Exhibitions include Wonderful Life, Lisson Gallery, London, 1993; Young British Artists 6, Saatchi Gallery, London, 1996; Spectacular Bodies, Hayward Gallery, London, 2000; Century City, Tate Modern, 2001; Minimal Maximal, Kyoto National Museum of Art, Japan, 2001; Voices from the ID, Beaconsfield, London, 2002; Mike Kelley - The Uncanny, Tate Liverpool, 2004; Les Grandes Spectacles, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, 2005; Murdeme Collection, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2006-2007. Isaacs was guest lecturer at The Getty Foundation Los Angeles in 2005 and had his third solo show with Museum 52 in October 2007.