10 Jul 2008 – 9 Aug 2008

Event times

Open Wednesday-Friday 12-6 Saturday 11-5

Madder 139

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Old Street/Barbican


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MADDER139 is delighted to announce the first London solo show of Edinburgh artist, Paul Chiappe. In a series of hyperrealist drawings Chiappe questions our illusion between subject and object. Taking information from various settings; the traditional school photograph, books, vintage postcards, and particularly internet image searches, Chiappe alters and recreates the scrupulous and clinical precision of the camera with pencil to then blur and smudge into indeterminate plots and characters. The detailed and definitive use of the pencil sidles with the work of Chuck Close, however, unlike Close and his photorealist contemporaries, Chiappe's transcribed scenes hold narratives that highlight the shifting and fragile nature of memory. In Untitled 12, a drawing sourced from google, Chiappe creates a macabre, ethereal setting as a bleak American Church School stands empty except for a girl who rigidly watches from the porch. Is she a schoolgirl or an apparition? The juxtaposition of the blurred, soft edge of the building against the crisp execution of the girl's stance at the entrance creates a nostalgic distance between viewer and piece. In Untitled 18 an anonymous woman glares out and despite the absence of eyes appears tangibly real. Echoing Gerhard Richter's ‘blur' technique from his photographic paintings of the sixties, Chiappe smears away the manicured backgrounds that he has created to produce out of focus scenes that drift back and forth and like a faded negative the works' edges disappear and overflow into a sinister no-man's land. Chiappe's recent drawings compared to their photographic originals are vastly diminished in size, with some so meticulously small that they are a mere dot on the page and the use of a magnifying glass is required. By disrupting his subjects in exactitude and size Chiappe blots and dilutes the division between illusion and reality, with the pieces reading like a fleeting conception or the presence of a memory that we were told, but never had. Paul Chiappe has recently exhibited at The Fleming Collection's ‘Ten Decades' exhibition in Mayfair, London. Simultaneously to his show at MADDER139 Chiappe will be exhibiting at ‘Kaleidoscope', a major exhibition of works on paper at The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, from 15th July — 21st September 2008, where he will be placed alongside Douglas Gordon, Richard Long, Ben Nicholson and Simon Starling.

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