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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