Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of Dexter Dalwood’s collage studies. These works have only been shown once previously in the UK as part of Dalwood’s 2010 exhibition at Tate St. Ives, which later travelled to FRAC Champagne – Ardenne and CAC Malaga.
Although created between 1999 and 2011, Dalwood’s collages feel relevant to the present moment in time. Presenting a series of unpeopled, interior scenes, they speak to the supremacy of the domestic realm at a time when our homes have become inescapable, often claustrophobic, territory. Yet these small-scale works intimate a life beyond four walls; indeed, the fourth wall opens to the viewer, offering a voyeuristic glimpse into an empty interior that reveals its occupant by composition – and on occasion, title – only.
For Dalwood, his collages existed as exercises in composition. In their subsequent translation to large-scale canvases, he preserved their sharp edges and disjoined aesthetic, resulting in a jarring sense of perspective and proportion that disorients the viewer. In asking his audience to absorb multiple images at once, Dalwood slows down the act of consumption, deconstructing canonical thinking and existing systems of belief, both subjective and collective. In this way, his collages are both symbols representative of his artistic process and his patchwork approach to the inconsistencies of memory.
There is a sense in Dalwoods’s art that we are seeing its subjects through concurrent slippages of tense: that past and future, prehistory and later enshrinement are simultaneously apparent; the interior scenes he depicts are both tense with apprehension and in repose, coolly impassive, regally self-assured. Through the media of collage and painting, Dalwood addresses a relationship with history, and those historic episodes and figures that double as fables. Within his paintings, he places the viewer in the present tense of the past.
- Michael Bracewell
Collage enables Dalwood to throw the processes of quotation into highly visible relief; he re-presents both cultural iconography and the history of painting as configurations of mutually sympathetic subjects and styles.
- Michael Bracewell
To artistic practice he brings a live obsession with the texture of the imagined past. He brings with him, from the world of popular culture a practitioner’s discipline and a chilly, professional vision of that culture’s banal accoutrements.
- From ‘Dexter Dalwood Covers the Classics’ by Dave Hickey.
Dexter Dalwood was born in 1960 and lives and works in London, UK. He received his BFA from Central Saint Martins, London and his MFA from the Royal College of Art, London. Recent solo exhibitions include What is Really Happening, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2019); Propaganda Painting, Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong (2016); London Paintings, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2014); Kunsthaus, Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland (2013); Orientalism, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark (2012); Dichter und Drogen, Nolan Judin, Berlin, Germany (2011) and a major solo exhibition at Tate St Ives, UK (2010), which travelled to FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France and CAC, Malaga, Spain. Recent group exhibitions have included Marx Collection, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany (2018); Painters' Painters at Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2016); Mon art à moi, Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland (2016); The Painting Show, a touring exhibition by The British Council, London, UK which travelled to Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, Ireland (2017) and CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania (2016); Fighting History, Tate Britain, London, UK (2015); The Venice Syndrome – The Grandeur and Fall in the Art of Venice, Gammel Holtegaard, Denmark (2014); Not Being Attentive I Notice Everything: Robert Walser and the Visual Arts, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland (2014); Le Corps de l'Absence, FRAC Champagne Ardennes, Reims, France; Setting the Scene, Tate Modern, London, UK (2012) and Dublin Contemporary, Dublin, Ireland (2011). His work is represented in major private and public collections including Tate, London, UK; The British Council Collection, London, UK; The Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; FRAC Champagne-Ardennes, Reims, France and Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland. In 2021 Dalwood has a solo show in Mexico City at the Museo Nacional de Arte ( MUNAL).