preBUILD (The Field of Flowers)
31 May – 7 July 2007
99 New Bond Street
Max Wigram Gallery is pleased to announce the second solo show by London-based artist Mustafa Hulusi.
Notorious for his unsolicited fly-posting campaigns in London’s East End, Hulusi moves within the realm of advertising using visuals involving geometric patterns, flowers or fruit. Equally existing in the gallery and the public sphere, these are distributed in formats like billboards, light box displays or paintings, an activity enticing audiences into a relation of recognition and desire in wanting to know more about these visual surfaces.
For this exhibition, Hulusi develops an element of his practice further and adapts into wallpaper the billboard design containing his “Hulusi trademark starburst”. Large Expander posters will recover all gallery walls to provoke an experience of decorative excess, dazzlement, vertigo, saturation, and psychological exhaustion. Reflexes lie at the heart of this plastic proposition, where the viewer is invited to come “inside the image”. With this symbolic gesture the artist analyses how the repetition of the same abstract motif can exhaust its own meaning. Referencing the formal rhetoric of 1960s Op Art and 1970s conceptual Abstract Minimalism, the installation brings together the spectacular effects of the first with the misleading banality of the second. Questioning the context in which art is placed, notions of authenticity and integrity of art, for Hulusi is it important how a viewer turns to be aware of their attraction for such an immediately graspable sign.
Hulusi’s body of works comprises of screen-prints, photos and paintings that share a loaded, aggressive visual language which plays with the psychology of perception. His ongoing series The Elysian Paintings (2005-) carries the traces of early 20th century political propaganda, often bordering on the kitsch. Painted by a professional illustrator from photographs taken by Hulusi, these technicolour renditions of trees and flowers in glorious full bloom test compulsive viewing and proclaim their status as painterly confections. Moving within the territory of “the growing estrangement from the dominant socio-political ideology governing artists”, as the artist declares, “this often leads to an introspective and escapist mental space, a re-enchanted artistic space that counters the disenchantment of social and cultural life today (MUH)”.
Hulusi (b. 1971, London, UK) lives and works in London. This year Hulusi will co-represent Cyprus with Haris Epaminonda at 52nd International Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. Since 2002 Hulusi has taken part in group exhibitions in the UK and internationally including Into Me Out of Me, (curated by Klaus Biesenbach) P.S.1/MoMA (NYC) and Kunst-Werke (Berlin); Abstraction – Extracting from Reality (curated by David Thorp), Millennium Galleries (Sheffield); East International 05, Norwich Art Gallery (Norwich); This is England, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (Sunderland).