London Art Reviews

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“Equation” – Barry Reigate exhibition at Paradise Row gallery

Untitled (Drawing 11), 2011, Barry Reigate

Equation – Barry Reigate exhibition at Paradise Row gallery

Barry Reigate‘s second solo show”

John Platypus – September 2011

Equation” is a new exhibition of Barry Reigate at the Paradise Row gallery, Oxford Street. This emerging artist from London brings together different topics in his body of work. The show is a mix of diverse techniques with works of mixed medium. “Equation” is Barry Reigate‘s second solo show at Paradise Row.

There are three different sorts of artworks in this exhibition. Firstly, canvas with a silver background with the repeated theme of a wolf taken from an advertisement where it was with the three pigs. The images are painted criticisms to the contemporary situation in which people are struggling because of the credit crunch: “The pigs are the people and the wolf is playing the role of Power/ the Other. In other times that might have meant anything with teeth/weapons, hiding in the forest, for us, now, that means, obviously, Capital” Barry Reigate explains.

A second group of works consist in geometric coloured images on paper. Those are taken from a SAT exam book and emptied from their original meaning. Barry Reigate says: “… aesthetically they seems to nod to Minimalism whilst the use of geometric forms was vaguely reminiscent of the various tactics of conceptual artists like Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt and fitted into the Modernist tendency to fetishize form.”

Thirdly, there are some sculpture in form of installation made of construction materials such as concrete and plywood. “Here the connection between the forms and the structure is played out in the materials and medium” Barry Reigate says. And in fact these geometrical forms are winking both to conventional architecture as long as recent riots events in the UK.

This tri – partition is contained in the catalogue book you can find at the Paradise Row gallery. There is no doubt the show gives the impression to be organised in three sections although mixed together.

However, the catalogue seems to be unaware of the amount of sketches and drawings present throughout the exhibition. Sketches are made for the installations. Drawings are mingling with the rest of the artworks. But instead, this is the most interesting part of the exhibition, where Barry Reigate puts down is amazing ability to draw, together with themes, ideas and colours. Although in the drawings – as well as in the paper works – some symmetries are lost these are fascinating works giving good ideas about the creative process of the artist. Also they are most spontaneous and less reasoned works releasing the real potential of Reigate whilst the final production shows a reduced naturalness and therefore loses genuineness.

Barry Reigate is born in London (1971), where he lives and work. He holds a B.A. Graphic Design and Fine Art, Camberwell College of Arts, London (1990 -93) BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design, Croydon College of Arts, Surrey (1988 -90) and a M.A. Fine Art, Goldsmiths University, London (1995 -97).

He was part of national and international Group Exhibitions, notably in 2010 Rude Britannia: British Comic Art, Tate Gallery, London and Newspeak: British Art Now, Saatchi gallery, London. In 2009 Newspeak: British Art Now, State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia; Natural Wonders: New Art From London, Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow and Paradise Row at Art Rotterdam, Netherlands. He also had Solo Exhibitions in 2009 Almost, Nang Gallery, London; 2008 Happiness, Paradise Row, London; 2006 The End of Communism, Trolley Gallery, London and 2004 UnHolyVoid, Private warehouse space, London.

Showing from 9th September until 8th October 2011

At the Paradise Row Gallery, 74 Newman Street, London, W1T 3DB

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