Spike Island

FlatlandsDavid Batchelor

23 November 2013 to 26 January 2014

David Batchelor is best known for his vividly-coloured sculptural installations of illuminated lightboxes, industrial dollies and other found objects. These three-dimensional works perhaps belie the fact that the root of his interest is and always has been in drawing, painting, abstraction and the monochrome — preoccupations that are best charted in his immensely varied two-dimensional work. This exhibition is the first indepth presentation of David Batchelor’s drawings and paintings.

Having originally studied painting, Batchelor has, over the last 20 years, made colour his leitmotif. Not the colour found in nature, but the synthetic colour of the illuminated street sign and lurid glare of the nocturnal metropolis. Whether using conventional materials such as pencil, ink, pastel, gouache and acrylic, or highlighter pen, spray or gloss paint and industrial tape; whether making drawings or paintings intended to be simply drawings or paintings, or carefully-plotted diagrams of proposals for sculpture, Batchelor’s two-dimensional works show how formal rigour and a modernist aesthetic can be subverted by the deployment of intense, exuberant colour.

The exhibition presents drawings and paintings created over the last two decades, including the most recent October series and preparatory drawings for sculpture, presented alongside the large-scale, kaleidoscopic installation, Disco Mecanique (2008).

The exhibition is curated by Andrea Schlieker and produced in collaboration with the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. It is accompanied by a catalogue which includes an interview with the artist by Andrea Schlieker as well as essays by Rudi Fuchs and Fiona Bradley.

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Spike Island