AboutWhile the desire to resolve frustrations has led to some of humanity's greatest advances, increasingly, instead of driving us forward it's driving us mad. Yearly, hundreds of thousands of people in Britain report stress-related illnesses resulting from frustrations at work. Overcrowding, information overload and bureaucracy are just some of the plethora of factors seen to cause ever-increasing frustrations in contemporary life. This exhibition brings together the work of Tim Phillips, Ross Jones, littlewhitehead and Blue Curry in four different explorations of this theme and will include new work by each artist.
In today's society we have been gradually forced to relinquish control over many areas of our lives. We may not always realise it but we are at the mercy of those in power - they control our finances, our politics and even our means of communication. While the reality is often much less sinister than what conspiracists may see as some overarching power at work, we ignore at our peril the subtle influence of corporations and organisations around the world. Tim Phillips identifies the materials, colours and shapes that convey and help legitimise the control or dominance of institutions, organisations and individuals. Stripped of unique identifications such as corporate logos, religious imagery and cult symbols, his works mix the different visual languages that form a barrier between us and those in control while naturalising that position. From the precious wood inlays of religious architectural screens, to the gleaming polished surfaces of a corporate reception, Phillips' sculptures draw from very different sources, yet interestingly this conflated array of seemingly distinct materials still convey the same message and perhaps even amplify it.
If the distribution and legitimisation of power is a subtle affair, the bombardment of 24-hour news and media is not. Ross Jones work is primarily interested in information overload and media bias. Each drawing takes as its subject a current political issue that is regurgitated globally by media corporations. The subject is then stripped back, placed in a large white space, and reduced to a detailed drawing creating an icon for an issue. During this process, Jones removes the confusion of colour, people and sound that complicate our understanding. Ross Jones' I.E.D. presents the unassembled components of an improvised explosive device, replacing the conventional subjects of a still life composition in a subtle subversion of that tradition. Made familiar by the news, the potential bomb appears eerily passive when presented in this way, yet the obscured simplicity of its production is made clear.
Blue Curry's sculptural installations fuse an array of 'tropical' signifiers with unlikely candidates to create works which suggest both personal and cultural frustrations. Splitting his time between England and The Bahamas, where he was born, Curry's works see his Caribbean background converge with his experience in London. Sculptures such Untitled, a car tire covered with a mosaic of thousands of black and white beans resembling snakeskin souvenirs in tourist markets, hint at frustrations with the effects of tourism and the false perception of life in paradise. At a personal level, Curry's work is imbued with his struggle against the demands and classifications placed on him as an artist by the two cultural spheres he inhabits.
Glaswegan artist duo littlewhitehead are well known for their irreverent views of modern society. A new wall-based work will be created especially for the exhibition using highly dangerous acidic fumes. The use of corrosive chemicals is a new addition to the duo's repertoire of destructive processes such as deep fat frying and burning, but unlike past processes, invisible chemical fumes rather than the acid itself that will be used to make the âpainting'. Just as the work makes visible the effect of an unseen danger, the painting highlights society's frustrations with effects of unseen chemicals, from industrial waste to radiation. However, there is a dark humour at work here as littlwhitehead poke fun at our fear of the âinvisible threat'. While there are very real dangers in life that are beyond one's perception, much of our frustration is rooted in what we believe or are lead to believe may be threatening us and which we are powerless to prevent.
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Exhibition runs: Thursday 8th September to Friday 30th September / 11am - 6pm (Tue to Fri) / 12 - 5pm (Sat)
Sumarria Lunn Gallery, 36 South Molton Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 5AB
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Tim Phillips is a graduate of Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. Solo exhibitions include Heaven's Gate, Boyschool Projects, London (2009). Group shows include Marc Philip van Kempen & Tim Phillips, LoBe Gallery, Berlin (2011), Manderley, John Jones Project Space, London (2009), Innerer Klang, Rod Barton, London (2009), I AM by birth a Genovese, Vegas Gallery, London (2009), Florence Trust Summer Exhibition, London (2009), Salon08, VINEspace Gallery, London (2008), Landslide, Café Gallery Projects, London (2008) and Art Below Zero @ The Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel Project Space (2008). The artist was nominated for the Catlin Art Prize (2009) and is recipient of the Kate Barton Award (2005). The artist's work is held in a number of private and public collections including The Zabludowicz Collection.
Ross Jones' solo exhibitions include New Works, William Angel Gallery, London (2009). Groups shows include Salon No. 8, Marine Art Salon, Los Angeles (2011), Korea Internationl Art Fair (KIAF), Seoul (2010), In A Word, Sumarria Lunn, London (2009), Matt Roberts Arts Salon 08, VINEspace, London (2008), West Midlands Open, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton (2008), Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London (2007), Unfortunate Incidents, SE1 Gallery, London (2007) and the Celeste Art Prize, The Old Truman Brewery, London (2006). The artist is recipient of the Proof Award (2008).
littlewhitehead are artists Craig Little and Blake Whitehead, both graduates of Glasgow School of Art (BA). Solo exhibitions include Bad News, Marine Contemporary, Los Angeles (2011), London Art Fair (with Sumarria Lunn Gallery), London (2011), Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (2010), Playing Dog, Gimpel Fils, London (2009) and So Many Fellows Find Themselves, K Gallery, Milan (2009). Group shows include If These Walls Could Talk, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles (2011), Modern British Sculpture, Gimpel Fils, London (2011), Smokefall, Tintype, London (2011), Exteriority, SUMARRIA LUNN, London (2010), Newspeak: British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London (2010) and The Hermitage, St Petersburg (2009), Tales That Witness Madness, Elevator Gallery, London (2009), Grey Matter, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2009) and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, A Foundation, London (2008).
Blue Curry is a graduate of the University of Westminster and Goldsmiths. Solo exhibtions include Toomer Labzda, New York (forthcoming), Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Germany (2011) and Dragging Anchor, Folkestone Triennial (2011). Group shows include Wrestling with the Image, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington DC (2011), Caribes Globales, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Puerto Rico (2011), Assembly, Bearspace, London (2011), Anticipation, Selfridges Ultralounge, London (2010), City States, 6th Liverpool Biennial (2010), Nowhere in Peculiar, Five Hundred Dollars Gallery, London (2010), Stardust Boogie Woogie, Monica Bobinska Gallery, London (2010), The Global Caribbean, Art Basel, Miami (2009), I Know a Friend that Knows a Friend, Het Poortgebouw, Rotterdam (2009), Group/Grope, Area 10, London (2009), Into Position, Bauernmarkt 9, Vienna (2007), The Next Level Guerilla Show, Photographers' Gallery, London (2007) and Domesticalia, Standpoint Gallery, London (2007).