introduction

 

The notion of ‘truth to materials’ permeated much of the art of the twentieth century. It was initially associated with the natural world, with wood and stone, but artists like Tatlin and and Duchamp alerted us to the man-made and mass-produced.

Eight artists here open up a dialogue with the ordinary stuff of everyday life. Familiar objects, materials and processes are ‘re-purposed,’ while remaining recognizable. The artists’ response is an intuitive and physical one and invites a similar approach from us.

Implicit in all their work is a critical engagement with its art historical precursors.

But the ways in which they use these unconventional materials reflect a very different cultural climate. Their work offers us some insight into how today’s material environment, from the ubiquitous presence of plastics to the surfeit of consumer products, is shaping how we understand and interact with the world around us.

Five artists have made new work especially for this exhibition.