15 May 2008 – 21 Jun 2008

Madder 139

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Old Street/Barbican


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Winner of the PULSE Prize New York 2008


In a series of paintings Philip Gurrey explores notions of introspection, concentrating on the bridge between contemporary culture and visual art and its historical precedents. Reminiscent of a DJ, Gurrey pieces together portraits from the Enlightenment period and like a surgeon with his scalpel, sculpts a new vision. Old, renowned faces become twisted into contemporary fleshy faces of humour and pathos.
Extracting components from Hennell's photographs of reconstructive surgery to WW1 soldiers to Van Dycks, Reynolds and Tonks Gurrey constructs faces that comprise the elegance of a Velazquez, with the painterly deftness of a Saville. This "piecing together" of images from times past not only accentuates the images' nostalgic selves but also hints at another form of grafting; the renovating of the body unnecessarily, with today's narcissistic onslaught of Botox and Face-Lifting. By distorting his victims' deformities to a heightened level; the spectator is left even more chilled in the acknowledgement of society's vanity, as we each meddle with our own physical attributes in a desire to sculpt a vision of perfect beauty.
Philip Gurrey was born in 1984 and lives and works in Scotland. Gurrey has shown at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, was awarded the British Airways Student Travel Award 2007 and featured in The Sunday Times Culture supplement on young artists in August 2007. We will be showing Philip Gurrey at NEXT, the emerging invitational art fair in Chicago, 25th-28th April 2008.

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