Hales Gallery is pleased to announce Adam Dant's first solo show Menageries and Monuments at the gallery. For this show Dant has taken the idea of an 'Encyclopedic Compendium' as a visual form. Popularized in the 16th Century by Pieter Bruegel, numerous stories and pieces of information, such as proverbs and children's games are depicted together as part of a single pictorial scene. Dant updates this 16th century visual conceit in a series of densely rendered chaotic narratives, which take place in familiar and specific architectural spaces.
The encyclopedic components in each of these new drawings by Dant create a peculiar mayhem which then contrasts with the solid buildings or monuments they invade.
Guests at a fancy dress party form the Table of Evolution as they randomly tumble from a 'Bateau Mouche' that's crashed through the glass roof of The Paris Natural History Museum's Gallery of Palaeontology. Individuals lifted up by a ferocious tempest become a chart of Shakespeare's plays and main characters as they are swept around a car park resembling the Globe Theatre. Elsewhere a gang of marauding shoplifters make up The Periodic Table of the Elements as they strip clean a department store and The Vienna State Library becomes a political map of the world
The deliberate visual complexity of these sepia ink drawings belies and confuses the traditional pictorial and perspectival devices they rely on, turning real space into diagrammatic, cerebral space.
This new work continues Adam Dant's interest in depicting and interacting with the public space, the anecdotal and Utopian grand models. His previous work includes winning The Jerwood Drawing Prize for his Plan of Tate Britain, The Bureau for the Investigation of the subliminal Image, founding the City of London's
livery company, The Guild of Neologists and acting as an 18th century style pamphleteer in the production and distribution of Donald Parsnips Daily Journal from 1995-2000.
Dant's drawings can be found in numerous public and private collections including The Arts Council Collection, The V&A, MOMA New York, Deutsche Bank, The Museum of London, The Government Art Collection, The Musee d'Art Contemporain Lyon and San Diego Museum of Art. Recently Dant's work has been included in Eye on Europe at MOMA, New York and Only Make Believe at Compton Verney, Oxfordshire. He will participate in an Arts Council touring exhibition Cult Fiction May 2007.