For his first exhibition at Matt’s Gallery, David Batchelor will show his first wall drawings together with an installation of over a hundred spray-painted works on paper. Each wall drawing features an angular, silhouetted, black, stencilled form up to three metres tall that is bathed in an atmosphere of toxic fluorescent colour. These large pieces derive the smaller works on paper, which Batchelor has been developing for the last decade. All the works refer loosely to the tradition of geometric abstraction that was developed in Europe a century ago.
The origins of Batchelor’s new works lie in a series of illuminated sculptures he began to make in the early 2000s. In each of these works, such as 'Magic Hour', 2004-07, (which was exhibited in the Hayward Gallery’s 'Light Show' in 2012) a central form assembled from salvaged commercial lightboxes is framed by back-projected coloured light. These works were simultaneously dark and colourful. Since that time Batchelor has been making an on-going series of drawings that make use of a similar relationship between colour and blackness. For Batchelor, these works are a response to the unique quality of colour that is found in the city. Unlike the natural world, where most colours achieve maximum intensity in daylight, the modern city only reveals its full chromatic spectrum at night.
The works also continue the dialogue between two- and three-dimensional form and between painting and sculpture that has been a hallmark of Batchelor’s practice for over two decades.