Maureen Paley is pleased to present the fourth solo exhibition by David Thorpe.
Thorpe’s installations are painstakingly constructed through complex layering processes where the objects are dressed and hidden. Each piece is ornately detailed and meticulously rendered, honouring traditional methods of handwork, where there is a close relationship between the maker and his object. Motivated by the writing of John Ruskin and in opposition to Thomas Edwards, Thorpe considers the profound pride of the artisan in his craft. There is a continual attempt to restore or develop a sense of independent dignity attached to materials and objects.
Works such as A Rare Beast are constructed in the traditional ‘Wattle and Daub’ style. Latticework of split-hazel branches, layered with lime plaster and mud, are ornately finished with a forestry pattern in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts. The stylised pattern is the focus of Thorpe’s work. This piece will emanate a low audio hum so that the object performs and asserts itself in the presence of the viewer.
Thorpe’s work engages with the radical spirit of the vanished artisan, with an atmosphere that lingers somewhere between a historical lament and a futuristic revival.
David Thorpe was born in the United Kingdom and currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Solo exhibitions have included: The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK, 2012; Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2010; Casey Kaplan, New York, United States, 2010; A Weak Light Flickering, Meyer Riegger, Berlin, Germany, 2009; David Thorpe Veils and Shelters, Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover, Germany, 2009; Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Kleve, Germany, 2008; The Defeated Life Restored, Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus, Switzerland; Camden Arts Centre, London, UK; Kurhaus Kleve, Kleve, Germany, 2007 and The Colonists, Art Now space, Tate Britain, London, UK, 2004.
Selected group exhibitions include, Shape of Things to Come: New Sculpture, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, 2011; Reflections: 15 Years, Casey Kaplan, New York, United States, 2010; The Library of Babel / In and Out of Place, 176 / Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK, 2010; The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art, Tate St Ives, St Ives, UK, 2009; Delusional Virtuosity, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam, Netherlands, 2009.
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