Press release, november 2017
David Risley Gallery is proud to present the solo exhibition Blossom and Decay with new paintings by artist James Aldridge.
If we compare James Aldridge’s work of quite a few years ago with those in this exhibition, there is one striking fundamental development. There used to be an easily identifiable depth in Aldridge’s paintings. Even if the paintings were unruly, we were firmly on the ground and all the wild life made sense in the setting, it was clearly their habitat: A wilderness beyond man’s footsteps, where the wolves howl. We are still in some sort of wilderness, but the context of its imagery has changed. They now swirl in a cosmic way, where there is no up or down, just the surface of the painting. We are not looking out but perhaps rather in. The paintings now operate in a different kind of space, which is more clearly and ruthlessly pictorial. They seem preoccupied with that space and how it functions, the rules in play.
Aldridge has created his own universe. He has an ability to make the heavy seem light, the gruesome beautiful and the contradictory harmonious. The pictorial language is a kind of patchwork or sampling of styles, from text book depictions of animals, to skeletal parts, to art historical references like painting a tulip as it was painted in Flemish flower painting 400 years ago to cartoonish vines running like guides for our eyes through the paintings, to an abstract expressionist loss of control, to elegant geometrical combinations of rectangles and squares.
There are so many elements and details in every single painting, it is impossible to recount them all. The paintings are meticulous and incredibly loose at the same time. James Aldridge juggles and balances all these elements, combining them anew every time he makes a painting.
Through the process of layering, using different painterly techniques, covering parts up, Aldridge gives us a sense of the paintings being much bigger than what their physical dimensions may suggest. Like a kind of cosmic truth of light and darkness related to mysticism. They are both about making an image of something and the limitations, the rules, the clichés, all the challenges related to that making.
James Aldridge (b. 1971 in Kent, UK) lives in the woods of Småland, Sweden. He listens to black metal, is interested in the symbolism related to that music and he loves bird watching – all of which can be associated with the iconography of the paintings. But let us not confuse the artist with his paintings. At the end of the day all art needs a spark to get going, but the spark doesn’t keep the fire burning.
Åbning og koncert på David Risley Gallery
D. 10. november inviterer David Risley Gallery til åbning af udstillingen “Blossom and Decay” af James Aldridge og efterfølgende koncert med Slægt og Demon Head.
Aldridge (1971) er født i Kent (UK) og arbejder og bor nu i en skov i Småland i Sverige. Aldridge er stor fan af heavy metal og den symbolik, der omgiver genren, hvilket kommer direkte til udtryk i hans malerier. Kurator hos Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Mathias Ussing Seeberg skriver om Aldridges kunst: “Aldridge has created his own universe. From the beginning I was struck by his ability to make the heavy seem light, the gruesome beautiful and the contradictory harmonious. The pictorial language is a kind of patchwork or sampling of styles, from text book depictions of animals, to skeletal parts, to art historical references like painting a tulip as it was painted in Flemish flower painting 400 years ago.”
Slægt og Demon Head er begge blandt Aldridges danske favoritbands indenfor metalscenen, og vi er derfor glade for at kunne præsentere begge navne denne aften. Det københavnske black metal-band Slægt, grundlagt af Oskar J. Frederiksen (tidligere Solbrud), med medlemmerne Olle Bergholz, Anders M. Jørgensen og Adam "CCsquele" Nielsen, (sidstnævnte to er også at finde i besætningen af det kritikerroste danske prog-rockband Værket) har allerede to velanmeldte albums og en EP i ryggen og deres live-optræden er blevet lovprist i medier som Dagbladet Information, DRs P6 Beat og Ekstra Bladet, bl.a. for deres show til dette års Copenhell. Doom-bandet Demon Head udgav i 2013 et demobånd, der hurtigt udsolgte og skabte stor opmærksomhed om det Københavnske act, hvis liveshow beskrives som magi-lignende, groovy og højt(!). De udgav deres debutplade Ride the Wilderness i 2015 og har siden været på fem europaturneer. I april 2017 udkom opfølgeren "Thunder On the Fields", der måtte i gentryk i juni.
Udstillingen åbner kl. 18 med koncerter fra kl 20.30. Der vil være food truck og billig bar.