Louise Hopkins: Harness

16 Oct 2008 – 20 Nov 2008

Event times

Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-6pm

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Mummery + Schnelle

London, United Kingdom


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  • Tube: Old Street
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Mummery + Schnelle are pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Louise Hopkins. Louise Hopkins has always looked on painting as investigation, both of the medium itself and of the surfaces on which she works. These are often found surfaces, with pre-existing information printed on them, which Hopkins seeks to transform through the act of painting. In the past these surfaces have included patterned furnishing fabric, maps, sheet music, graph paper and comic strips. Although she still uses many of these surfaces, a particular feature of Hopkins's exhibition at Mummery + Schnelle will be a new series of works made on pages torn from commercial magazines advertising such things as jewellery, tools and furniture. Hopkins was attracted to the immediate accessibility of this printed matter as a painting surface that required no preparation. She has always been fascinated with creating spatial depth out of flat pattern and found in the reproductions of rings, beds, tables and filing cabinets something inert that she could in some way animate by the density of her application of paint. Often in her new works the paint is a combination of correction fluid overlaid with watercolour, which is used to both re-shape the space of the page and to transform the printed imagery . A good example of this is the work "Saw" [2008], the starting point of which appears to have been a printed magazine page depicting a selection of saws arranged vertically according to size, the smallest at the top, the largest at the bottom. Into the space created by painting over part of the printed text with white correction fluid, and thus pushing it back, Hopkins has painted a procession of ghostly figures in black dresses, which appears to recess into the picture plane. The figures create a perspectival depth that changes the picture space of the printed page. The heads of Hopkins's figures in "Saw" seem to have been decapitated by the saws through which they pass and in another work, "Rings" [2008], a number of diamond rings have been threaded with the stubs of severed fingers. There is a dark playfulness in evidence here and in other works in the exhibition. When this is combined with the overtly commercial nature of the printed pages, with their prices and incitements to buy, an attack on consumerism, and maybe even the commodification of art, is suggested. Hopkins is, however, ambiguous about this. She acknowledges that there can be a social element in her practice, but sees it as being strangely bound up with a love of painting . A fascinating aspect of Hopkins's work is her adherence to the practice of painting while at the same time seeming to doubt and mistrust what is represented on the surfaces she transforms.

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