Damian Mop­pett: The Sculptor’s Stu­dio is a Painting

21 May–26 June 2010

Damian Moppett

Catri­ona Jef­fries is pleased to announce the forth­com­ing exhi­bi­tion, The Sculptor’s Stu­dio is a Paint­ing by Damian Mop­pett. Work­ing in an expanded field of pro­duc­tion that includes paint­ing, sculp­ture, pho­tog­ra­phy, draw­ing and col­lage, this new body of work con­tin­ues the evolv­ing tra­jec­tory of Moppett’s studio-based practice.

The paint­ings, sculp­tures and ink draw­ings which form the exhi­bi­tion func­tion as for­mal exer­cises where rec­og­niz­able motifs from past works by the artist depart, through their process of mak­ing, into the realm of abstrac­tion for the first time. Mate­ri­ally method­i­cal in their pro­duc­tion, the works mark a depar­ture for Mop­pett in their inten­tional dis­guis­ing of art his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ences. Rather than explic­itly incor­po­rat­ing his usual nods to art-historical fig­ures such as Gus­ton, Bran­cusi, Moore and Caro, Mop­pett con­sid­ers tropes of dis­play which func­tion to sup­port the process of refer­ral which takes the site of Moppet’s own prac­tice as a scene of ori­gin from which to draw from, thus cre­at­ing a pri­vate and eso­teric lan­guage of form. Con­tin­u­ing to add to the het­ero­ge­neous visual library from which he per­sis­tently extrap­o­lates, the inclu­sion of a pair of framed ink draw­ings made dur­ing a recent res­i­dency in Lon­don, UK, are one of the myr­iad points from which the work began.

The image of the burn­ing can­dle and the space of the stu­dio appear spo­rad­i­cally, yet through Moppett’s impromptu means these rec­og­niz­able images slowly dis­ap­pear. Shift­ing the focus to the inci­den­tal out­lines and forms which appear through an accu­mu­la­tive and self-reflexive method, her­metic sur­faces emerge which main­tain the tan­gen­tial and anachro­nis­tic nature of Moppett’s allu­sion to his­tor­i­cal and sub­jec­tive trajectories.

By cre­at­ing the series of sculp­tural works in the same intu­itive man­ner in which he cre­ates paint­ings, Mop­pet is now able to fold the con­di­tion of the stu­dio, the frame of paint­ing and the sculp­tural arena into con­stantly shift­ing lay­ers of visual lan­guage. The his­tor­i­cal speci­ficity of the frames cre­ate a frame­work from which these arcane abstrac­tions become self-aware of their sta­tus as objects and are thus able to trans­mute effort­lessly from the sur­face of the can­vas to the arma­ture of sculp­ture and back to the space of the stu­dio itself.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion or press enquires please con­tact Catri­ona Jef­fries or Anne Low at +1 604 736 1554.