Keith Farquhar flatpacks erotica with More Nudes in Colour at London's Studio Voltaire

By Mark Sheerin | 27 October 2010
Photo of a gallery lined with colourful photographic nudes on white plinths
Keith Farquhar, More Nudes in Colour, 2010, Installation view. Courtesy of the artist and HOTEL Gallery, London© Keith Farquhar
Exhibition: Keith Farquhar – More Nudes in Colour, Studio Voltaire, London, until December 4 2010

Sculpture can be so everyday as to go unnoticed. So Keith Farquhar draws attention to both store window mannequins and, in his latest show, cardboard standees of the type found in cinemas.

Within this context of disposable promotional material, he offers cutout nudes which fold down on collapsible plinths to fill very little space at all. These are printed and machined at a specialist plant through which industry seeps into the art.

Each sculpture is the record of a digital shoot, during which Farquhar has dripped and daubed paint onto his female and on occasion male models. Such body painting brings to mind an Yves Klein happening.

The finished works could, then, be adverts for the messy and somewhat titillating event in the artist’s studio, albeit ones which can never deliver anything beyond themselves.

One might argue the same goes for any nude since the time of antiquity. Indeed, many of Farquhar’s models appear to wear the glaze of classical statuary.

But whether fine art or erotica, the Scottish artist’s first major London show offers plenty to think about, or just a chance to switch off the critical faculties.

Open 12pm-6pm Wednesday-Saturday. Admission free.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.

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