Exhibition preview: Surface, The Gallery @ The Civic, Barnsley, until September 6 2013
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.
© Courtesy Paul Merrick / Workplace Gallery, UK. Photo: Thierry Bal
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.
© Courtesy Julie Newton
© 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
© Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
© Courtesy Jacob Dahlgren / Workplace Gallery, UK. Photo: Colin Davison