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25 Nov 09 - 16 Jan 10

Black Dog / Yellow House

Boo Saville, Adam Dix, Colin Glen, Matthew Burrows


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Trolley Gallery is proud to announce a group show curated by painter Rachel Howard. The show brings together for the first time four artists whose work has come to Howard’s attention in recent years and who she has since followed and supported. All four not only appealed to Howard’s own sensibility as a painter, but seen together the works can also be said to share a certain preoccupation with the realm of paint as a medium, and the human condition as a subject matter. An established painter, Howard has chosen diverse artists, whose work however shares a particular coherence. The title of the show "Black Dog / Yellow House" refers to a creative process and although not a literal state of mind, sets the scene of the curious and pensive atmosphere under which they can be examined.

Howard states: "Black Dog was Churchill"s epithet for his recurring depression; Yellow House was home for three months to van Gogh and Gaugin in Arles, two relatively unknown artists painting, eating, talking, sleeping and drinking together ending in madness, mutilation and eventually suicide.
Black Dog Yellow House is a group show of fine artists, all outstanding in their individual practice. some of the work I"ve seen progress over many years, some more recently encountered, all the work I admire."

Matthew Burrows presents figurative paintings and drawings, that defy to be read strictly as a specific identity, and become instead more of an unidentifiable character. He toys with our notions of whether a painting of a body is figurative or in fact an exercise in formalist constructions, introducing also an element of fantasy. We look at the literal painted figure, and beyond that metaphorically as to what it represents. The work becomes often disturbing if interpreted literally, with orifices and appendages blurring into a mass of writhing forms, which is then relieved if viewed more as aesthetic, and beautifully painted, abstract compositions. "As a figure painter I am acutely aware that who and how you paint are not problems solved by the abundant supply of images in contemporary culture, it is a problem of developing a friction point between the motif (who) and the painting (how). I paint men, women, children those in between and creatures who defy categorisation. They are ideas, ideas of people, images who seek to be unpictured, refusing to be both likeness and idol. I only ask that their presence is corporal enough to be a challenge to our assumptions and allusive enough to defy capture."

Adam Dix"s paintings, with futuristic titles such as "Orbital" and "Satellite", explore the inherent paradox between man"s desire to conquest technology, with the danger of its unknown potential to exist beyond our own dimensions and control. This is conveyed at first glance through neatly presented ink and oil compositions - human formations such as crowds and athletic displays - yet set against something slightly more sinister - teeming satellite dishes hang off a bungalow in front of a gathering crowd, whilst spaceships hover over a playing field. "By examining futuristic past predictions of the 21st century and the subsequent representation of that imagined future, I intend to look at our reliance on consumer technology, highlighting the insecurity and vulnerability of man caused by our desire for aspirational, consumer products. Using nostalgia for a science fiction future, and also the present abundance of consumer technology, the work represents a visual language that emulated optimism for a future vision: a creation of a world where the human race would live in a technological utopia."

In recent years, Boo Saville has explored the surreal origins and mysterious forms of archaeological and forensic human remains. Saville"s preferred sources are often photographs from scientific or archaeological textbooks or reports. Purely documentary and non-subjective in their approach, these images catalogue an archive of often grotesque and gnarled human debris, be they the victims of bizarre and intriguing sacrificial murders, unexplained accidents or government-directed punishment. These images are sourced from institutions such as the Wellcome Institute and the Science and Natural History Museum. "There is a beauty and brutality in these photographs. I am interested in the ritualistic and symbolic power of an image and in the lies we tell in order to make them." The result is exquisite and detailed drawings from these grim scenes, and paintings, often more abstract and free in their expression of human ephemera.

Considering the required and often standard deference to the referencing of twentieth century artists as a means to dissect and define his own art and practice, Colin Glen has produced drawings of spatial, free-floating shapes, of infinite lightness, yet grounded in the realm of the manmade object, be it mathematical or industrial. "All the shapes are reminiscent of some simple "Platonic" form, a building block of seeing and understanding. Similar to Cezanne"s saying that he wanted to paint nature according to the "sphere the cone and the cylinder". However, my objects are rather the remains of such a project, the failed and misguided; the farcical, delusionary and compulsive attempt to see a reference to art history in even the most inconsequential little scrap of rubbish. The drawings extend this seeing, this desire to find value in minutae, by committing to an insanely lengthy discourse, and referring to Gerhard's Richter term "moronic copying", and a potentially flawed attempt to create a phantasm of beauty, even if illusory. So...you have to believe, and to me each tiny thread-like, hair-like mark accruing on the paper is a manifestation of that belief (in nothing). I try and have a lot of space in the drawings, and often in the centre, to articulate the importance of nothingness as a site of power and strength rather than empty void. Like Yves Klein I want to leap into that Void."

Rachel Howard
Studied Fine Art/Art History at Goldsmiths College from 1989-92. She has exhibited widely, including Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam, the Serpentine Gallery, London, Bohen Foundation, New York and is represented by Haunch of Venison where she has had recent solo shows in both London and Zurich.

Matthew Burrows
After graduating with a Master"s Degree in painting from the Royal College of Art in 1995, Burrows has spent the last ten years exploring the relationship between the figure, story telling and contemporary culture. Burrows creates images of historical and fictional characters. From Narcissus and Echo to the saints of history and legend, his work attempts to find a means of picturing our complex relationship with desire. He has exhibited widely nationally and internationally and has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. Most recently he was a prize winner at the John Moores 24 the UK"s most prestigious painting prize. His most recent solo show was at Alexia Goethe Gallery in 2009.

Adam Dix
Having recently completed an M.A. in painting at Wimbledon College of Art (2009) Dix is currently receiving recogniton as part of the Future Map. Having exhibited widely across the UK over the past 14 years, he was most recently selected by Jenni Lomax of Camden Art Centre for this year"s Creekside Open and was also selected for the Jerwood Drawing prize and by Victoria Miro for the Creekside Open in 2007. Dix has previously been nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Award for visual arts (2000) and in the same year was selected by Peter Blake for the Discerning Eye exhibition. He lives and works in London.

Boo Saville
Boo Saville studied at the Slade School of Art, London. She has exhibited widely and her work has recently been acquired by the forthcoming Museum of New and Old Art, Tazmania. In 2007 she was a nominee for the Sovereign Painting Prize, and in the summer of 2008 she worked on a residency in Paris at the Cite des Arts. Saville was recently featured in Francesca Gavin"s book "Hell Bound: New Gothic Art", and will also feature in January Vogue"s "British talent" special. Her second solo show at Trolley Gallery will be this January, and her third at Studio Visconti, Milan in September 2010. She lives and works in London.

Colin Glen
Studied Fine Art and Art History at Goldsmiths College, London graduating in 1992. He has shown recently at the JGM Galerie in Paris, Bankley Street Studios in Manchester, Stroud Valleys Artspace and the Forest of Dean Sculpture Park in Gloucestershire. His work is concerned with the relationship between memory and experience, particularly the photographic documentation of art. He has manifested this interest in his drawings, drawings, sculpture and video and also his academic research: He received an Art History MA from Birkbeck College in 2001 and his currently studying towards a Phd on Ian Hamilton Finlay at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Stephen Bann. He is a contributor to Art Monthly and a-n magazines. His artwork is in private collections including Murderme, London.