Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Dexter Dalwood. In this new body of work, Dalwood explores twentieth century social and political events through the history of art.
The paintings render historical events as unpopulated spaces constructed through literal visual quotation from the works of other artists. Events from recent history, Hurricane Katrina or the Poll Tax riots in London, are imagined and represented as moments in time. Dalwood investigates how an event in time may subsequently achieve a visual existence or a place in the mind's eye, and presents this for subjective reconsideration – the bombing of Margaret Thatcher's hotel room in Brighton in October 1984, for example, or the infamous Yalta conference of February 1945.
Dalwood's works begin as small, precise collages, constructed by cutting up reproductions from magazines, catalogues and books. This process is central to Dalwood's conception of each painting as an image whose representation of a moment in art history is balanced by the more literal subject announced by the title of each work. References might be immediately apparent – a Picasso skull, a Richter abstraction, or more opaque – a still from the opening scene from Walt Disney's Bambi. The familiar, the vaguely recognised and the unattributable in Dalwood's work combine with authority to represent the cultural landscape of recent history, exploring visual language and the function of the imagination in understanding history.
Dexter Dalwood was born in Bristol in 1960 and studied at St Martins School of Art and Design, and the Royal College of Art. This is his fourth solo show for Gagosian Gallery. He has exhibited throughout Europe, including participation in The Triumph of Painting, Leeds City Art Gallery (2006); Days Like These: Tate Triennial Exhibition of Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain (2003) and Remix: Contemporary Art and Pop, Tate Liverpool (2002). He lives and works in London.
A fully illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Thomas Crow will accompany the exhibition.