We have had to wait for three years but it is now upon us – “Fragile”, the new solo show by Dan Baldwin is opening tomorrow to the publich at Gallery 8. We hear that the artist will explore the concepts of mortality and beauty. As always, the new works by Dan Baldwin promise to be distinctively colourful defying categorisation as figurative or abstract, real or imaginary.
For those not so familiar with Dan Baldwin’s works, expect encompassing ceramics, silkscreen prints, resin, acrylics, spray paint and found objects carefully mixed together and resulting in complex and intricate pieces. It is also worth to point out that most of the objects in his uses have been collected since he was a child.
The show will present another set of large-scale acrylic works where the artist continue the exploration of symbolism and narrative. By contrast, the artist has also developed a series of abstract canvasses which are devoid of any motifs but instead explore further his fascination with colour harmony. In comparison to others in the exhibition, these works evoke a positive response in the viewer but still ask us to consider the uncertain and short-lived nature of human happiness.
A large proportion of the show will be dedicated to a series of delicate ceramics, a medium with which the artist has started to experiment further in recent years. Now working with a Sicilian pottery workshop, the artist is creating increasingly elaborate urn-like vessels which are representative of death and the fleeting nature of our existence. The most ambitious to date is perhaps “Sacrilegium” (2013) which is adorned with a real human skull cast in clay as well as 20% pure gold paint, crucifix, cherubs and an antique Russian bear figurine. These motifs increase the funerary connotations of the object, making it appear fragile in more ways than one.
But Dan Baldwin’s exploration of new mediums in his art does not stop here. He has also developed a series of large-scale tile paintings for the exhibition. “The Picnic” (2012), for example, is made up of 96 tiles overlaid with several glazes and precious metals. The dreamlike scene is filled with juxtapositions of life and death, innocence and corruption; children play with a severed head whilst Mickey Mouse dances with a skeleton. In a final act of ‘iconoclasm’ the artist smashed the tiles before assembling them, to demonstrate their fragility
What – “Fragile” the new solo show by Dan Baldwin
Where – Gallery 8
When – 20/9 till 5/10/2013 (private view on the 19/9)