Felix & Spear Gallery is delighted to present the exhibition ‘All Ye Assembled Here’ by David Redfern (b.1947). The exhibition is a review of Redfern’s assemblages covering the period 1995-2007.
From 1992 onwards there was a major change in Redfern’s output. Painting in oils was put aside and experiments with found materials took over, in some part fuelled by working with students on multi-disciplinary courses and loving it. Objects and materials were gathered by the side of the Thames, especially the Greenwich Peninsula as The Dome came into existence, the shingle pits of Dungeness, the streets around his Deptford studio and holidays to rural France where church renovations provided a rich haul of oak off-cuts.
The artist has, light heartedly, likened his practice to on-line dating apps, introducing differing shapes, colours and textures to each other and seeing if they can live harmoniously together. In an age of mega-sized industrial sculpture, workshop crafted, hand-made work smothered with the artist’s fingerprints offers a sustainable alternative.
The Russian Constructivists, Kurt Schwitters, Harry Thubron and Margaret Mellis were kindred spirits who provided sustenance and affirmation. Similarly, Joseph Cornell collected material from the streets, organised it in boxes and assembled his enigmatic boxes in a basement, an exact parallel to the work shown here.
About David Redfern
David Redfern was born in Staffordshire in 1947. From 1965 to 1969 he studied at Reading University Fine Art Department where he was awarded his first degree followed by a post-graduate qualification from The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. In 1971 he joined the staff at the newly opened Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens as a Gallery Assistant and worked there until 1984. From 1984 to 2011 Redfern was employed at Croydon College, working both part and full time on their art and design courses, from teaching to managing several programmes.
In 2000 Redfern was elected to The London Group, an artists’ collective established in 1913 by the likes of Walter Sickert, Jacob Epstein, Harold Gilman and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Shortly afterwards he was asked to take on the role of Archivist which he did with great relish. Many years of research in the Tate Archive resulted in the publication of “The London Group: a history 1913 – 2013” on the occasion of the groups’ 100th anniversary.
Throughout his life Redfern has sought to travel and learn from other cultures, especially the United States, Russia, China and New Zealand. He has been included in exhibitions in the Hayward Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Royal Academy Summer Shows and provincial galleries including Southampton, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Cardiff amongst others.
The Arts Council Collection, Southampton City Art Gallery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery as well as private patrons have collected his work.