Jack Milroy - A Garden of Earthly Delights

17 Mar 2011 – 27 Apr 2011

Art First

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Kings Cross - 30 / 73
  • Oxford Street

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Art First is pleased to announce the first exhibition by Jack Milroy in the gallery's newly relocated premises in Fitzrovia, close to Oxford Circus. Opening in early Spring, ‘A Garden of Earthly Delights' deliberately evokes the season's energy and its bursts of organic growth, as well as Hieronymus Bosch's 1505 masterpiece in the Prado Museum. Bosch's triptych's religious / moralizing content (the left panel represents Paradise, with Hell on the right and a marvellous central panel representing a garden of life's ‘delights' intertwined with mankind's worldly pleasures) remains enigmatic to this day and continues to exert an abiding influence over artists now. Milroy's reading of earthly delights is contemporary and very much within the thematic developments in his own work. He shares with Bosch a sense of the fleeting beauty of flowers, the fragility of life and the ephemeral character of happiness, often hinting at the darker, more complex side of man's behaviour. The vocabulary of images in Milroy's work Garden of Earthly Delights reveals itself only on close inspection. The printed and cut film construction presents three chromatic divisions with black and white printed imagery skillfully extracted from the surface with a scalpel, then twisted or tilted sideways into the space between parallel layers of film. The entire structure is suspended in a transparent Perspex box, which offers fascinating side views as well as the full frontal impact. The work's intricacy is breathtakingly inventive as elephants, giraffes, gorillas and all manner of other flora & fauna emigrate from the green zone of Paradise to a more purple space of extremes. Rolls of bank notes, fast cars, brand names, diagrams from a year's worth of daily sexual positions, signs of gluttony and excess and now and then a direct borrowing from Bosch himself lead the viewer towards the final zone of hellish red to the right, full of tumbling figures and accelerated chaos.

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