Barnsley's Civic curates Arts Council Collection loans for playful Surface show

By Culture24 Reporter | 08 August 2013

Exhibition preview: Surface, The Gallery @ The Civic, Barnsley, until September 6 2013

A photo of pink neon lights lighting up a gallery
Paul Merrick, Flag (2011)© Courtesy Paul Merrick / Workplace Gallery, UK. Photo: Thierry Bal
Inspired by shows characterised by aesthetic deceptiveness – the British Art Show 7 is a touchstone – this collection, loaned from the Arts Council Collection, is all about outer layers belying what lies beneath.

David Batchelor’s multi-coloured examples encapsulate the air of playful aesthetic mystery. While working with factory dollies in 1997, the artist discovered his “monochromobiles” – monochromes on wheels which look like portable, square pools of bright paint.

“I had been working on ways of supporting intense commercial colour in three-dimensional works,” recalls Batchelor.
“I was looking for a horizontal surface on which to leave an acrylic panel to dry and noticed that it almost fitted a dolly I had in the studio.

“The shiny surface makes the colour appear almost fluid and the supports are physically and metaphorically mobile.

“I liked the idea that the works didn't look ‘fixed’ and could be rearranged.”

The sculptural element Batchelor alludes to is pursued by the likes of Paul Merrick and Jennifer Douglas, who transform existing structures, partly by giving them new “skins”.

Merrick is one of five northern artists whose works accompany the loans from the Collection.

  • Open 10am-5pm (closed Sunday). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @BarnsleyCivic‎.

More pictures:

A photo of a woman in a pink dressing gown standing up looking at her reflection
Julie Newton, I am bouncing off the Fucking Walls Here (2013). Commissioned wallpaper© Courtesy Julie Newton
A photo of a black wheelie bin containing various bulbs and lights inside an art gallery
David Batchelor, Festival (2006)© Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. Gift of the artist and Hayward Gallery; commissioned by the Hayward Gallery as the inaugural Christmas Lights project, 2006
A photo of various squares covered in bold single paints on wheels shrouded by dark
David Batchelor, I Love King's Cross and King's Cross Loves Me, 5 (2001)© Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
A photo of rows of weighing scales lined up in orange, blue and white
Jacob Dahlgren, Heaven is a place on earth (2010). Bathroom scales and steel© Courtesy Jacob Dahlgren / Workplace Gallery, UK. Photo: Colin Davison
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