'Avery Hill' Courtesy (c) PayneShurvell, 2013
PayneShurvell is pleased to announce Andrew Curtis’s The Leisure Circle, an off-site collaborative project between PayneShurvell and curator Annabel Cary in a temporary space in Camden / King’s Cross.
The Leisure Circle ties in with a collaboration between Curtis and the artist Leon Chew (whose solo show is at PayneShurvell's Shoreditch space). Their joint project will be shown by Dark Matter at London's newest art fair Art 13 (1-3 March).
In The Leisure Circle, Curtis presents two bodies of work that address the nature of taste and judgment, exploring images that once informed the habits and methods that middle-class Britons used to shape the external and internal environment that they inhabited.
In the first group of prints, Curtis adapts photographs of domestic settings that feature house plants (sourced from books and manuals from the mid- to late 20th century). He masks all background and context to set ferns and flowers against a field of black. In using Rotring ink, painstakingly applied by hand, to obscure the scenery in which the plants were set, Curtis eradicates the very domesticity these images sought to convey, and introduces a discordant visual element.
Images, which were once at the heart of architecture and design in the pre-digital age, become isolated and decontextualized. Curtis is interested in how much information you can eliminate before the picture ceases to function as an objective image.
Continuing his fascination with the suburban landscape, Curtis’s new body of work is based on large-format monochrome photographs of a colonialist’s exotic winter garden, built in Eltham in the 1880s. Funded by self-made millionaire ‘Colonel’ John Thomas, its aim was to bring ‘taste’ to the masses of south London, from which a post-war suburb grew. These images extend Curtis' work on the faux-exotic presence in suburbia and anachronistic signs of cultural appropriation for which he has become known: monkey-puzzle trees (Chilean Pine), Torbay palms and the façade of worldly culture they present.
Andrew Curtis (b. 1979, London) graduated with an MA in Fine Art Printmaking from the Royal College of Art in 2009. He was chosen for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition (2009) and the Catlin Guide (2009). His work is held in various collections, including the Royal College of Art, the V&A, Oregon State University, Queen’s University, Belfast, University of Wales and private collections in the UK, Italy and the USA. His last solo show was House Plants.
The exhibition is on until 22 March 2013. Fore more information, visit the Payne Shurvell website