Isis Gallery takes Ruth Marten's Treasure Hunt in a Lazar House to Pure and Applied space

By Culture24 Reporter | 20 December 2012
A photo of a montage print of a face surrounded by hair based on a monochrome collage
Ruth Marten, Ecstasy (2012). Ink on vintage print© Isis Gallery, UK

Exhibition Preview: Ruth Marten – A Treasure Hunt in a Lazar House, Pure and Applied, London, until January 19 2013

Ruth Marten’s boundlessly expansive takes on collaging occasionally depict leprous figures, so the position of this gallery – within yards of leper hospice sites from the 13th century – is a fitting one.

An image of a colourful print of various birds on a tree carrying shapes and implements
Brave Birds (2011). Ink, watercolour and collage on vintage print© Isis Gallery, UK
Pure and Applied, as a vintage print gallery, also affords the perfect cavern in which Marten can hide her intricate drawings, giving women kettleheads and gently lampooning early 20th century surrealist Max Ernst’s Histoire Naturelle with a monograph.

Organised by Isis Gallery, her display has already been compared at once to the cabinets of curiosities, satirical cartoons and absurd travelling exhibitions which followed each other in successive centuries from the 1600s onwards.

But across the rest of these spun out narratives, cast in pen and ink in prints from those bygone centuries found in the flea markets of New York, this treasure hunt promises some strange and beautiful discoveries courtesy of Marten’s time-hopping re-imaginings.

  • Pure and Applied, Bermondsey Street, London. Open Monday-Friday 10.30am-5.30pm (11am-4pm, closed December 22 – January 1). Follow Isis Gallery on Twitter @IsisGalleryUK.

More pictures:

A photo of a black and white collage-based piece showing a beheaded nude figure
Rococo (2012). Ink and collage with mylar on vintage print© Isis Gallery, UK
A photo of a colour collage showing a huge book inside a barn with a church outside
Oysters for Breakfast. Ink and watercolour with collage on vintage print© Isis Gallery, UK
A photo of an artwork based on a collage of a man with a seashell nose and gilded frame
Leper (2012). Ink and watercolour on vintage print with baroque extravagance© Isis Gallery, UK
A photo of a colourful montage based on two females collaged and drawn over
Twins (2009). Ink, watercolour and collage on vintage print© Isis Gallery, UK
A photo of a monochrome print of ancient military figures pointing guns at a wall
The Helping Hand (2010). Ink and collage on vintage print© Isis Gallery, UK
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