Damian Moppett: Progress in Advance of the Fall

19 January-24 February 2007

Damian Moppett

Progress in Advance of the Fall was an exhibition of twelve new paintings in oil on paper and several sculptures in clay and plaster by Damian Moppett. Consistently, Moppett’s practice seeks to consider the repercussions of influence, citing various mythic or idiosyncratic moments in art history, folk culture and personal numen.

Moppett’s new oil paintings depict objects in the studio as well as a number of self-portraits. His Caryatid, Lamp and Sofa in Studio locates a figurative plaster sculpture that the artist derived from Auguste Rodin’s Fallen Caryatid with Her Rock (1881) in its studio production site, combining a historical touchstone in sculpture with a contemporary, attentive artistic subjectivity connoted by the sofa and the lamp. The exhibition also featured several sculptural works by Moppett that continue to integrate the medium’s conventional oppositions. The caryatid is itself a figure of implication and fusion, referring to an abstracted female human form used as an architectural pillar. In a second sculpture, entitled The Acrobat, the Brancusi-like play between pedestal and sculpture that Moppett refined in his pottery-bearing, painted metal stabiles and mobiles of The Visible Work (Contemporary Art Gallery, 2005) is fused and inverted. The sculpture’s utility as a self-contained, museological support structure has merged with the fine, earthen vessel-like surface of clay—to suggest that perhaps the relationship between pottery and sculpture is growing closer.

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