Complicity: Artifice and Illusion
Curated by Rosalind Davis
Collyer Bristow Gallery, 4 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4TF
3 March - 7 June 2016
"A cracking show. The private view was absolutely packed with an eclectic combination of lawyers and artists, all rounded off by Nicholas Serota arriving to look closely at the artworks while dressed in his customary long grey raincoat and briefcase..."
- Robert Dunt on ArtTop10.com
VIEW & DOWNLOAD DIGITAL CATALOGUE [33MB]
Wednesday 1 June, 6-8pm
Dazzling Proposals and Daring Propositions
An insightful panel discussion with artists Mel Brimfiled
and Justin Hibbs
, chaired by curator Rosalind Davis
. This talk will focus on the ways in which artists may use site specific proposals or exhibition opportunities to create new bodies of works and push boundaries in their practices.
Please email email@example.com
if you would like to attend.
Numbers are limited. FREE
Photo: David X Green
: Hermione Allsopp, Sasha Bowles, Guy Bigland, Mel Brimfield, Alastair Gordon, Andrew Grassie, Justin Hibbs, Debbie Lawson, Peter Liversidge, Gibson/Martelli, Helen Maurer, Damien Meade, Marion Michell, Clare Mitten, John Richert, Joella Wheatley and Virginia Verran
"The question is not what you look at but what you see." - Henry David Thoreau
Complicity is an exhibition examining the relationship between illusion and artifice in art. It looks at the inevitable complicity between audience and artist, both integral to the game of viewing an artwork. Forging, faking, imitating, camouflaging and counterfeiting are all accepted as valid tools of the artistic process, used to create new ways of looking at the world; subverting space and place, objects, identity and image and re-imagining and questioning our perceptions of reality in unexpected or subversive ways.
In the context of art and its reception, the viewer from the very outset plays an integral role in the complicit act of accepting an art object's artifice and illusion; suspending reality and disbelief. Artist and audience share a conscious desire to engage in holding the differences between art object and reality in mind simultaneously and so knowingly acknowledge the game of complicity.
"Art is a lie that makes you realise the truth, at least the truth that is given to us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies."
For more information on the artists or specific works in this exhibition please contact the curator Rosalind Davis, Zeitgeist Arts Projects. Tel: 07813 076 251 firstname.lastname@example.org
Darren Butt, Business Development Manager, Collyer Bristow LLP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7470 4408 email@example.com
To visit the exhibition
Please call reception at Collyer Bristow in advance: Tel: +44 (0) 20 7242 7363
Collyer Bristow Gallery is a bespoke gallery space with a dynamic exhibition programme. Collyer Bristow LLP is a leading UK law firm with offices in London and Geneva. The firm provides business and personal legal advice to a wide range of clients both in the UK and internationally. Collyer Bristow has been championing emerging talent in contemporary art for nearly twenty years.
Photo: David X Green
Photo: David X Green
Photo: Michaela Nettell
Photo: David X Green
Photo: David X Green
Photo: David X Green
Photo: David X Green
Photo: David X Green
Photo: David X Green
, guest curator at Collyer Bristow has brought together a group of artists who share the desire to push boundaries in ambitious, playful and subversive ways in a variety of mediums that continually slip back and forth between reality, illusion and fiction.
In Helen Maurer
's installations and Hermione Allsopp
's sculptural works, existing objects are reconfigured, subverted and experimented with. Allsopp's works are created through undoing objects and furniture, reforming them into audacious and bold compositions. Maurer works with glass and projected light creating shadows and reflections, distorting and creating alternate realities.
The borders between the real and the illusory are blurred in Justin Hibbs
's installations which disorientate and subvert our perceptual experience of space. Combining analogue and digital modes of representation, production and display these environments negotiate the changing terms of our engagement with the reality of the modern world around us. "Hibbs's works are worldly, imperfect at the outset." - Martin Herbert
's paintings suggest other-worldly battlefields and virtual warzones that show the traces of action and process, of a personal world of invented motifs and symbols. Multiple perspectives, aerial scanning and surveillance, lines and motifs track back and forth between nodes.
create an illusory world of virtual reality, where the artworks are activated through the visual codes of Dazzle Camouflage. Unlike traditional camouflage which operates on the principle of concealment, dazzle camouflage uses complex arrangements of high-contrast, interrupted geometric patterns that confuse the calculation of a ship's range, speed and bearing in an enemy's optical gunnery rangefinder.
Relationships between language, knowledge and visual experience are drawn attention to in Guy Bigland
's work. Each work is generated through a system of arbitrary rules, which combine familiar and ubiquitous systems leading to unexpected results.
Photo: Michaela Nettell
opens doors into the complexities and voids of solitude, through the projection of perspective. Focusing on the seclusion of a place, whether interior or exterior, the objects within symbolize the idea of isolation. Desires are visited in the works of Sasha Bowles
, who intervenes onto the reproductions of Old Masters works creating a mischievous metamorphosis, subverting classical narratives into new possibilities.
The dialogue between object and image is at the heart of Clare Mitten
's practice; painterly objects, constructed from packaging, paper and other stationery, function as three-dimensional sketches whereby the original is transformed through flattening, editing and error. The three dimensional works then inform the two dimensional paintings. Debbie Lawson
's work takes the form of a series of episodes that invite the viewer on a journey through the landscape of the domestic interior, where popular narratives and personal histories are intertwined so that the imaginary and material reality seem inseparable. Visual codes collide, giving form to new animated hybrids with a quietly sinister inner life and aspirations to be bigger than themselves.
interrogates inherited memory and childhood, which are interwoven as a physical experience or object. Intense intimacy, humour, pathos, ambiguity and contradiction abound.
, Damian Meade
and Alastair Gordon
through exquisitely rendered paintings address associated themes with notions of authenticity and illusion lying at the heart of their collective enquiries. Gordon renders the materials and process of painterly production such as masking tape or paper on wooden panels in a form of trompe l'oeil that refers to a specific form of illusionism that proliferated in the 17th century. Meade's paintings of sculptures, are artifice within artifice; the inanimate appearing reanimated and uncanny - the actual real collapses into an illusion of the real. 'Grassie makes an unnerving comment about art's tendency to look in the mirror and be captivated by its own reflection' - Skye Sherwin.
Often rendering other artworks or exhibitions in the traditional medium of egg tempera with a convincingly 'double-take' level of realism - here Grassie creates a doppleganger of a past painting of his own making.
In Peter Liversidge
we witness another set of doppelgangers. Imagining a different kind of human interaction with nature, Liversidge's Winter Drawings are delicate renderings of trees, made from cut black masking tape, which embody the quiet elegance of the least adorned season of the year.
Gender stereotypes and conventions are wittily pulled apart and challenged with Mel Brimfield
's performance works and paintings referencing recognizable art world figures and dismantling them. Finally John Richert
's works sums up the artifice of contemporary art, of consumption and the desire in an endless loop around re-negotiation of design and art, presentation and display. Richert's fabrications accurately reproduce the materiality and irresistible allure of contemporary fine art - and so become immaculate objects of desire in themselves.
Photo: Michaela Nettell
makes sculptural work by collecting objects and furniture and re-creating them into new forms or compositions. She studied MA Fine Art at UCA Canterbury (2010-2012). She had her first solo exhibition 'Accumulated Comforts' in 2014 as a result of winning the Void Open and more recently 'Risen up from Dream Land' (2015) at Bank House, St Leonards on Sea. Recent group exhibitions include: 'House of Life (A Collage)' (2015); 'Kiss Chase', St Leonards on Sea (2015); 'Bread and Jam II', London (2015); 'Disturbance', London (2015); 'Deptford Stories', London (2014); 'Everyday Illusions', Paper Gallery, Manchester (2014); and 'We could not agree', Cavendish Sq., London (2014). Recent awards: Winner of the Void Open Exhibition 2013 and shortlisted for the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2013. 2014: Long/shortlisted for SOLO Award, Anthology Open and Beers Contemporary Open. She is an associate artist with Paper Gallery, Manchester. www.hermioneallsopp.com
acquired his MFA at Bath Spa University in 2014. In 2015, his book Things You Have Done
won the Sheffield International Artist's Book Prize. He has exhibited across the UK and in France, Switzerland and the USA and has work in private and public collections. Recent exhibitions and events include: 'Art:Language:Location', Cambridge (2014 & 2015); ZAP Open, London (2014); 'By the Rules', Salisbury Arts Centre (2015); Sheffield International Artists' Book Prize (2015); 'Re: follow-ed (after Hokusai)', Cabinet Du Livre d'artiste, Rennes (2015); 'Volumes', Zurich (2015); 'Counter', Plymouth (2015); 'Arctic Fox', Vulpes Vulpes, London (2009). www.guybigland.com
lives and works in London and completed her MA at Wimbledon College of Art in 2013. In recent years she has been selected to exhibit in various opens including: The Crash Open and Photo and Print Open (Charlie Dutton), 'Discernible' (Zeitgeist Arts Projects), Barbican Arts Trust, The Lynn Painter Stainers Prize, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (invited artist) and The Discerning Eye (winning the Benton Prize). In 2014 she was selected for Oriel Davis, The Open West, Future Map and Discerning Eye. Bowles co-curated and exhibited in 'Bodies That Matter' at ArtLacuna and co-produced The Bodies That Matter 3
publication. She also exhibited in a 4-man show 'A Virtual Topography' at Husk Gallery. In 2015 Bowles exhibited in group exhibitions at Standpoint Gallery, Husk Gallery, Day + Gluckman, The Crypt Gallery, Lubomirov Angus-Hughes and The Display Gallery. In 2016 she co-curated COUNTER_FITTERS at the Geddes Gallery, King's Cross. Bowles has work in private and public collections in Britain, Europe and America. www.sashabowles.co.uk
(b.1976). Recent solo exhibitions include: 'Death and Dumb', John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK (2013); 'Between Genius and Desire', Ceri Hand Gallery, London (2012); 'This Is Performance Art – Part 2: Experimental Theatre and Cabaret', LICA, Lancaster (2012); 'This is Performance Art – Performed Sculpture and Dance', Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield and Mead Gallery, Warick (2011); 'This is Performance Art: Performed Sculpture and Dance', Camden Art Centre, London (2010); 'Waiter Waiter, There's a Sculpture in my Soup: Part II, Performance Art and Comedy from Gutai to the Present', Pumphouse Gallery, London (2009) and Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool (2008). Group exhibitions include: 'Speak, Clown!', Fold Gallery, London, UK (2013); 'Revealed: Government Art Collection', Ulster Museum, Belfast, UK (2013); 'Revealed: Government Art Collection', Birmingham Museum, Birmingham (2012); 'The Great Boxing Booth Revival', UK touring exhibition (2012); 'Memory of a Hope', Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool (2011) and 'LOCATE', Jerwood Visual Arts, London (2010). She lives and works in London.
(b.1978) is a London-based artist with an MA Fine Art from Wimbledon School of Art (2012) and BA Fine Art, Painting from Glasgow School of Art (2002). Recent solo exhibitions at Nunnery Gallery, London (2014); Bearspace, London (2015) and Nomas* Projects, Dundee (2015). Forthcoming solo exhibitions include the Ahmanson Collection Gallery in California. In 2014 Gordon was the winner of the Shoosmiths Art Prize and was shortlisted for several prizes including the Griffin Art Prize, The Open West, Oriel Davies Open, The Zeitgeist Open, Beep and the Threadneedle Painting Prize. His works feature in several international collections including: Simmons and Simmons (London); Landmark PLC (London); the Ahmanson Collection (Los Angeles); Royal Bank of Scotland Collection and the Glasgow School of Art Alumni Collection. Alastair is Course Leader for Critical and Professional Development at the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh and co-founder of Morphe Arts Trust. In 2012 he launched Husk Gallery while working as artist-in-resdence for Departure in London. www.alastairjohngordon.com
(b.1966) was educated at St. Martins School of Art (1984-88) and the Royal College of Art (1988-90). He exhibits regularly both in the UK and internationally including solo shows at Tate Britain; Sperone Westwater, New York; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Johnen Galerie, Berlin; and the Rennie Collection, Vancouver. He has lectured extensively across a range of institutions in the UK. His work has been reproduced in a number of publications including Phaidon's inaugural survey of contemporary painting Vitamin P
, and discussed in many articles and conferences. Several of his works are held by major collections such as the Goetz Collection in Munich, the Rennie Collection in Vancouver and by the Tate, Arts Council and Government Art Collections in the UK. Grassie is represented by Maureen Paley Gallery. www.maureenpaley.com/artists/andrew-grassie
(b. 1971.) studied at Central St. Martins, London (1991 - 94) and currently lives and works in London. He has exhibited his work in both solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally as well as curating a series of artist-led exhibitions. Solo shows include: 'Alias_Re_Covered', Carroll/Fletcher Gallery, London; 'PARA/SITE' (2013) & 'Secondary Modern' (2010) at the Christinger De Mayo Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland; 'Altneuland', Gallery Lucy Mackintosh, Switzerland (2007); 'Metroparadisiac' (2006) & 'I'll wait for you' (2005) at the One in the Other Gallery, London. His work was selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010. Recent group exhibitions include: 'Pencil, Line, Eraser', Carroll Fletcher Gallery, London (2015); 'Distressed Geometry', Kunstraum Baden, Switzerland (2015); 'Weltenwurf', Kunsthaus Grenchen, Switzerland (2014); 'Oh My Complex', Kunstverien Stuttgart, Germany (2012); 'Superstructures', Arronitz Arte, Mexico City (2013); 'Temples To The Domestic', London (2012); 'Polemically Small', Torrence Art Museum, California (2012), 'Dawnbreakers', Hansard Gallery, Southampton (2010). His curatorial projects include: 'Misfits' at Galerie DS Contemporary Art, Belgium (2010); 'Working Space I and II' at the University of the Arts Gallery, London and the Lucy Mackintosh Gallery, Switzerland respectively (2008); and 'News from Nowhere' at the Lucy Mackintosh Gallery (2005). www.carrollfletcher.com
graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA (Hons) Fine Art and the Royal College of Art with an MA in Sculpture (2004). Recent exhibitions include: 'Picaresque', Ha Gamle Prestegard, Stavanger, Norway; 'News From Nowhere', William Morris Society and Museum; and 'Magic Carpet', Fergusson Gallery, Perth, Scotland. Her work is held in various collections including The Saatchi Gallery, Mario Testino Collection, the House of Lords, Nottingham Castle Museum, the University of the Arts London and the University of Dundee. She was the winner of the 2013 JD Fergusson Arts Award. www.debbielawson.com
. Since 2006, Liversidge has worked with institutions across Europe including the Tate Gallery, Liverpool; The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; and the National Gallery of Finland. In 2013 he exhibited as part of the group exhibition 'The Spirit of Utopia' at the Whitechapel Gallery, London and was commissioned to create a new public artwork for the Edinburgh Art Festival: Flags for Edinburgh. Major solo exhibitions have recently been presented at i8 Gallery, Reykjavik; The MAC, Belfast; and Basis, Frankfurt. In 2015, Liversidge's exhibition 'Notes on Protesting' was presented at the Whitechapel Gallery, London and a solo presentation is currently on display at the Van Abbe Museum, The Netherlands. www.peterliversidge.com
Over the past decade, Gibson/Martelli
have shown nationally and internationally, undertaking a series of commissions and residencies in America, Canada, Australia and the UK. Formerly known as igloo, their first collaboration WindowsNinetyEight was nominated for a BAFTA. They have received awards and commissions internationally, from National Endowment for Science Technology and Art (NESTA), the Henry Moore Foundation, the Arts Council England, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). They have exhibited in galleries, institutions, theatres and festivals around the world including: The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), the Barbican, SIGGRAPH, ISEA, The Royal Opera House, Royal Festival Hall & the 52nd Venice Biennale. Their work is included in various private and public collections, and most recently they were artists-in-residence at Dartmouth College (Hanover, USA) with a solo exhibition at the Jaffe-Friede Gallery. Current and upcoming exhibitions and talks include: 'Digital Revolution', Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens; 'Watch-Me-Move', VDNH, Moscow; Lumen Prize Exhibition, Calahan Gallery, New York; and VR UK Conference, Ravensbourne College, London. www.gibsonmartelli.com
studied Fine Art and Theatre at Brighton University before completing a PG Diploma in Fine Art Glass at Central Saint Martin's School of Art and an MA in Glass at The Royal College of Art. Solo shows include: Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art; The Pump House Gallery, London; and Angel Row, Nottingham. Maurer has worked on a number of site-specific commissions including Tatton Park Biennial; The Towner Gallery, Eastbourne; and the Big Chill Arts Trail. She has exhibited internationally and also collaborated on projects with choreographers and musicians. In 2003 Maurer was awarded The Jerwood Glass Prize. Maurer lives and works in London and is represented by Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art. www.helenmaurer.co.uk
is an Irish artist who lives and works in London. Recent solo and two-person shows include: 'Damien Meade & Natasza Niedziolka', Sommer & Kohl, Berlin (2015); 'Insomniac', Singular Galerija, Pula, Croatia (2015); 'Sudo', Scheublein + Bak, Zurich (2015). Recent group shows include: 'Black Light', Averard Hotel, London (2016); 'The London Open', Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015)' 'Suspicion', Jerwood Space, London (2014); 'Shape Shifters', ACME Gallery, Los Angeles (2013); 'Beastly Hall', Hall Place, Bexley, Kent (2013); 'Unspecific Objects', Malgras|Naudet Manchester and The Royal Standard, Liverpool (2013); 'The John Moores Painting Prize', Walker Art Gallery Liverpool (2012); and 'SV12', Studio Voltaire, London (2012). www.damienmeade.com
is a London-based visual artist and writer. Solo shows have been ar R-Space Gallery, Lisburn, Northern Ireland (2015); The Arthouse, Wakefield (2010); and Public Library, Offenbach, Germany (1998). Selected group exhibitions took place at Oriel Wrexham, Wrexham; BHVU Gallery, London; New Hall Art Collection, Cambridge; M. K. Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, Lithuania; PSL, Leeds; Phoenix Brighton; KunstLANDing, Aschaffenburg, Germany. Born and raised in Germany, Michell moves between languages and media to cast sideways glances at history. www.marionmichell.com
(b.1972, lives and works in London) received an MA Painting from the Royal College of Art (2006); BA Hons Fine Art Painting, University of Gloucestershire (2001); and BA Hons History of Art with French, University of Sussex (1994). Recent exhibitions include: 'Landscape with Machines', Coalbrookdale Gallery, Telford (2015); 'The Carp of the Tench', Dorothea Schlueter Gallery, Hamburg (2015); 'Delta', Five Years (2015); 'Sex Shop', Transition Gallery (2015); and Folkestone Fringe (2014). Awards include the Jerwood Painting Fellowship (2011); the Helen Chadwick Memorial Prize, Royal College of Art (2005) and British Council Artist Residencies to Tbilisi, Georgia (2010) and Dhaka, Bangladesh (2008). www.claremitten.com
was awarded a posthumous MFA by Goldsmiths College in 2013 following an administrative error. Recent shows include; 'My Son's in a Coma', NCCH London; 'Dementia, dementia etc.', Capel Studios; 'The Missus' Dad Died', St. George's, Tooting; and 'Good Taste is for Stock Cubes', Angry Arts. Also, 'The Zeitgeist Open', Zeitgeist Arts Projects 2014. John Richert is represented by Galerie Rauch & Spiegel. www.richertdirect.com
studied at Falmouth School of Art, Winchester School of Art and Chelsea College of Art and Design. She has exhibited at Francis Graham-Dixon Gallery, London; Whitechapel Open, London; John Moores 20, Liverpool; Newlyn Gallery, Cornwall; Henie-Onstad Gallery, Norway where a retrospective exhibition was held across three galleries in 1999; Gallery Fine, London; Eagle Gallery, London; Transition Gallery, London; Jerwood Drawing Prize, London in 2009 and 2010 (1st Prize Winner); Gallery H O T, Osaka; Centre for Recent Drawing, London; Frueshorge Drawing Gallery, Berlin; Alexia Goethe Gallery, London; Artery Gallery, Stuttgart; Royal Academy; Charlie Dutton Gallery, London and Beijing. She has work in various collections including the Arts Council England Collection and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (painting on load to Clare College); Israel Phoenix, Israel; Meyer Brown, London; and many private collections. She teaches at Chelsea College of Art and Design and Falmouth University. www.virginiaverran.com
is a London-based artist who received her BA (Hons) from Arts University Bournemouth in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions: 'From This Corner to Another', Maltings Gallery (2015); and 'Forgotten Lines', Aspex Gallery (2014). Group exhibitions include: 'Mapping Time', Frameless Gallery, London (2015); 'The Zeitgeist Open', Zeitgeist Arts Projects, London (2014); 'The Future Can Wait' collaboration with Saatchi New Sensations, London (2014); and 'I Cheer A Dead Man's Sweetheart', De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (2014). In 2014 Joella was awarded the Interregional Culture-Led Regeneration Award and won the Platform Graduate Award in 2012. Other shortlisted awards and residencies include: Bryant and Keeling Painting Prize (2014), Beers Contemporary Visions (2014), Artist Commission for Frieze Masters: 'The Asylum' at Helly Nahmad Gallery (2015). www.joellawheatley.co.uk