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Chapter Arts Centre: AND SO IT GOES: RICHARD DEACON, MERLIN JAMES AND HEATHER & IVAN MORISON - 16 Feb 2008 to 6 Apr 2008

Current Exhibition


16 Feb 2008 to 6 Apr 2008
Opening times: Monday – Sunday 9am – 10.30pm
Preview: Friday 15 February 2008
Chapter Arts Centre
Market Road
Canton
Cardiff
United Kingdom
Europe
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Merlin James, Pier, 1995. Acrylic on canvas, 37cm x 33cm. Courtesy the artist.
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Artists in this exhibition: Richard Deacon, Merlin James, Heather & Ivan Morison


AND SO IT GOES: RICHARD DEACON, MERLIN JAMES AND HEATHER & IVAN MORISON

Preview: Friday 15 February 2008

Exhibition: Saturday 16 February – Sunday 6 April 2008

Opening times: Monday 1-5pm; Tuesday – Sunday 12-8pm

Richard Deacon, Merlin James and Heather & Ivan Morison were selected to represent Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale of Art in 2007 and we are delighted to bring the critically acclaimed exhibition to audiences in Wales.

The title of the exhibition takes its inspiration from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-five throughout which the phrase ‘so it goes’ is used to mark a period of transition – from life to death - and it is this notion of transition or of crossing a threshold that connects the artists’ work.

Merlin James’ small and arresting canvases are playful, gestural and unpredictable in form and subject. Their complex surfaces - layered, abraded, sometimes punctured, textured with hair or dirt - are testament to his endeavour over time; they are rich and rewarding, drawing the eye back and forth across the canvas without necessarily allowing it to settle on a ‘subject’. He shuns the lush seduction of oil paint in favour of the ‘deadness’ of acrylic; but only so that each considered mark has to work to animate the materiality of the surface.

The medium format film installation, Dark Star, by Heather & Ivan Morison documents the artists’ search of America for the original nomadic groups of people who travelled through the States in house-trucks made from felled timber. The still images in the film are accompanied by a range of animated, spinning, ominous crystalline forms that hover above the barren landscapes of Quartzite, Arizona and cast a flickering shadow over the many house-trucks, caravans and everyday detritus that have seemingly been abandoned in the rush to avoid the moment of collision that ceaselessly threatens but never ensues.

The Morisons have also created Fantasy Island, an organic structure that is nestled between three trees in Coed Gwynant, their wood in North Wales. The sculpture is built from the timber of Douglas and Grand Fir, and Western Hemlock that were blown down in their wood in late 2006 and also incorporates panels of coloured glass. The structure has taken on a parasitic crystalline form, a canker or growth that is both beautiful and yet repellent and a film exploring the making of the work is on display in the gallery.

In Venice, Richard Deacon produced a site-specific installation for the Capannone 1, the vast storage space of the old brewery. As this work could only be shown in-situ, here he is exhibiting Range A-G, which features seven forms that have been created by cutting away and hollowing out solid blocks of clay, continuing his longstanding investigation of the boundaries between interior and exterior.

Placed on unglazed, brick-red plinths the forms are covered with a rich, flesh-coloured glaze that is at once reflective and transparent, attractive and repellent as it drips and dribbles from the work to play with the sensual experience of sculpture as both tactile and visual. Each plinth is made in relation to the form that it supports and they are irregular, somber, geometric shapes that appear as if the tomb for the decaying forms that they prop up.

About the artists

Richard Deacon was born in 1949 in Bangor, North Wales and now lives in London. He studied at St Martins, the Royal College and Chelsea Schools of Art between 1969 and 1978. He has exhibited and produced public commissions worldwide and in 1987 he was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize. Richard Deacon is represented by Lisson Gallery, London, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris and Salzburg.

Merlin James was born in Cardiff in 1960 and now lives in Glasgow. He studied at Cardiff College, Central School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. Solo exhibitions include Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York; Andrew Mummery, London; Kerlin Gallery Dublin; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh and Bay Art Cardiff. Merlin James is represented by Sikkema Jenkins & Co New York and Mummery and Schnelle, London.

Heather Peak was born in Desborough, UK in 1973 and Ivan Morison was born in Nottingham, UK in 1974. In 2005 the Morisons acquired a site of ancient and mature woodland in North Wales and they are developing the area of mature conifers into an arboretum. They live in Arthog, North West Wales and have exhibited world-wide. The Morisons are represented by Danielle Arnaud contemporary art.





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