DAVID THORPE    A Rare and Gentle Beast

8 June – 22 July 2012

Maureen Paley is pleased to present the fourth solo exhibition by David Thorpe.

Thorpe’s installations are painstakingly constructed through complex layering processes, borrowed from various traditional Renaissance craft techniques. Each piece is ornately detailed and meticulously rendered, honouring medieval methods for creating in paint and ceramic moulds. Motivated by the writing of John Ruskin and 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 decorative forestry pattern in the tradition of 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 like a speaker responding to the movement of the viewer. Thorpe’s work is engaged with the radical spirit of folk art, but with an atmosphere that lingers somewhere between a historical environment and a futurist one.

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, Tate Britain, 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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