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Galerie Jette Rudolph (closed, 2016)

Private Gallery
Henry Coombes @ Art Cologne | New Contemporaries
Henry Coombes
Henry Coombes
  HENRY COOMBES @ ART COLOGNE | New Contemporaries
booth: Hall 11.3/ A50

46. Internationaler Kunstmarkt: 18 - 22 April 2012
Professional Preview: 17 April 2012, 12:00 – 9:00 pm

Henry Coombes (*1977 in London, lives and works in Glasgow) graduated in Fine Arts from Glasgow School of Art in 2002.

In addition to his short film ‚Laddy and the Lady’ (2006), he made several much-noticed films, including 'The Bedfords’ in 2009. The variety of techniques and media Coombes uses – besides film, the artist also works with painting, collage, gouache and sculpture – takes into account his wide sense of artistic self-perception.

Coombes explores within his work both peculiarities as well as symbols of social norms, social roles and traditions as well as their artistic perceptions. The sculptural and pictorial preparations and postprocessings of the elements of his filmic work build the expanded context, in which – intentionally through many art forms – his narratives develop. The mesh of different visual media reveals on the one hand a familiar and recognising feeling for details and conditions to the observer whereas on the other hand the artist deliberately equips his subjects with inconsistency. ‘Clay Head’ is Coombes latest film which premiers, together with the attendant collages, paintings and sculpture, at this years Art Cologne.

The work describes the artistic exploration of psychological conditions of unease and anxiety located between cultural connotation and natural tendencies. Accompanying the famous Scottish cult outsider artist and hermit Marcella Macintosh through her incomplete tomb situated far away from social context, Coombes explores her cave’s scenography of fat penis-faced gargoyles. Within the sepulchral structure the achievements of Macintosh’s lifetime, which are characterized by “frustration, ego, anxiety and resentment” lead him to the initials FEAR.

The set of the booth focusing on the film ‘Clay Head’ is complemented by two paintings which were originally based on historical portraits and which Coombes transfers to his own artistic subject through partial manipulation and revision. Like a montage the artist replaces the original portraits through images of the protagonists of his film, each symbolically accompanied by a monkey.

Within the entrée of the booth a hybrid sculpture consisting of a clay head and a cubistic wooden foundation of small parquet-blocks welcomes the beholder and refers to the closing scene of the film. As a former prop the figure finally reappears in reality. With this transgression of the border of the film-genre, the abrasive figure confirms the interplay between fiction and non-fiction in Coombes’ work.

Another wall-area hung with collages, turns out to be some kind of storyboard which oscillates between discernability and expression: Whereas the photographic details act both as reference to the real person shown as well as to the role of the film’s protagonist, the painted details announce a more fantastic framework. The artist's handwritten notes provide an additional descriptive content, which locates the works in relation to a supposed narrative within a more comprehensive context.

PHILIP LOERSCH (S), April 27- June 16, 2012
FELIX BURGER (S), June 22- Aug 03, 2012

Galerie Jette Rudolph GmbH
Strausberger Platz 4,
D- 10243 Berlin

T, F: +49-30-61 30 38 87,
mobil +49-177-613 03 88
open: Tues- Sat 12.00 am- 6 pm

Henry Coombes
Untitled (Lord with Island Monkey), 2012
Oil on found painting from 1830
90 x 70 cm / 35.4 x 27.6 inches
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