Toby Ziegler

7 September - 4 October 2006

Simon Lee is proud to present a solo exhibition of new works by Toby Ziegler; his first solo exhibition with the gallery. Ziegler's highly evolved, individualistic approach grapples with historical models of painting and sculpture in a digital age.

The exhibition features new paintings in which the artist continues his practice of modeling a scene on 3-d design software and rendering it with geometric pattern. Increasingly though, this ordered system is bastardized by passages of messy, gestural painting. The tensions that are created by this combination of mechanical and hand-made reiterate a hybridization that is vital in Ziegler's techniques and ideas. In this new body of work Ziegler's practice fluidly shifts to explore the processes of painting in a more reflexive manner, breaking down previous systems employed to construct the picture plane. This allows a more ambiguous reading of the image. The apt motif of clouds is used as a starting point for these paintings. They are fugitive forms, and their shifting nature would seem to make them unsuitable to be described through geometry.

Three large sculptural works also reflect this tension between design and making. These facetted effigies are assembled from hundreds of tessilating grey triangles, but the black resin that binds them together oozes through the joints. Ziegler has collected visual triggers of the exotic. "Portrait Of C.L." is a human sized pineapple with an exuberant, awkward crown of leaves, "Tantalum" appears to be a pair of palm trees, and "In Praise Of Envy" resembles a classical Roman bust. These objects suggest archaic totems which once held great significance, but their historical meaning has been eroded and they have become domesticated. They now function as familiar archetypes. In Ziegler's lexicon however, they provoke other more sinister associations and implied narratives.

Ziegler's play with the romantic and the exotic bring to light ideas, beliefs and projects that often hover in a twilight zone between truth and error. Titling becomes an additional point of entry for his works. With many of the titles a serendipitous effect comes to bear, and titles like "The Hedonistic Imperative " and "A Euphemism For Something" evoke a puzzling effect that invites the viewer to further investigate potential meanings.

Toby Ziegler (b. 1972) lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include ‘Painting Architecture’, Le Plateau - FRAC d’Ile de France, Paris / Camden Arts Centre, London, 2006; 'The Future Lasts a Long Time', Le Consortium, Dijon, France, 2005; 'Enter Desire', a solo show at Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2005.