Revelling in the glamour of popular culture – both its high-impact gloss and seedy underbelly – the show explores themes of modern myth, consumer politics, contemporary religiosity, and the (unnatural) nature of desire.
In her paintings and sculptures Fleury’s trademark fem-punk aesthetics recode the symbols of machismo as hard punching lady-terrain. Her Crash Test series – dented steel panels finished with high-polish Maybeline colours – seduce in the guise of colour field canvases, retro-slick and sexy; while her Swarovski cristal series celebrates minimalism’s less-is-more chic quite literally as artworld glitterati. Her accompanying sculptural works – including her chrome plated bronze-cast Buick engine – pose as suped-up readymades: totems of hyper-commodified adoration and fetish.
Influenced by the fashion industry, celebrity culture, and art history, David LaChapelle’s images are of the most iconic of our times. LaChapelle’s still lifes take the aesthetically exquisite to levels of sublime grotesquerie. Choreographed to hyper-real perfection, his obscenely lush floral studies are contemporary reconsiderations of old master’s paintings: the religious symbolism of traditional memento mori construed as luxury gift basket kitsch. Similarly his figurative images transform masterpiece paintings into operatic tableaux of transgression and moral provocation; his works are renowned for their controversy, arresting beauty, and poignant address of the human condition.
Superimposing his own identity and brand onto famous celebrities and associated art legends, Gavin Turk’s self portraits play a game of subterfuge with authorship and mythology. Turk’s process of making is intensely performative, his prints replicate in detail both the media and production methods used by Andy Warhol. In works from his Elvis series, Turk humorously declares himself heir to the titles of King of Rock and Pop, striking the pose of Warhol’s Double Elvis. These palimpsest references underpin his self-portrait as Sid Vicious, one icon converging via collective consciousness with another, evolving heroically to Turk’s own image.
Accompanying these exhibitions will be a selection of paintings, photographs and sculptural works by John Bauer, Gary Hume, Marilyn Minter, Anselm Reyle, and Sterling Ruby: ranging from Bauer’s futuristic canvases with their metallic layers and solarized effects, to Minter’s scandalously seductive photo abstractions, to Hume’s anthropomorphic sculptures entrancing with their sense of movement and elegance. Reyle’s material works are neither sculpture nor painting but rather low-tech assemblages that transform optical trickery into high-design spectacle: Untitled encases crinkled foil in a coloured Plexiglas case creating a microcosm of UV glow expressionism, while his White Earth, an abstract bas relief coated in high-gloss white lacquer, elevates primitive gesture to the clinically sublime.
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