Reception for the artist: February 16, 6 – 8pm
Gagosian Gallery Los Angeles is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by British artist Dexter Dalwood. Highly celebrated for his recent exhibitions, including a solo show at Gagosian Gallery, London, 2001 and "Neurotic Realism, Part Two" at the Saatchi Gallery, 1999, Dalwood's paintings of fictional interiors of actual places and celebrity homes were greeted with a great degree of critical acclaim.
Although we have not visited the places Dalwood paints, they are familiar scenes or events ingrained in the public consciousness through media images and contemporary folklore. With this new series, Dalwood continues his exploration into unpopulated fictional interiors, often depicting critical moments of contemporary history or scenes of celebrity tragedy. He reinvigorates the genre of history painting, playing upon our fascination with the macabre and our obsessive intrigue with the lives of the famous. Characteristic of Dalwood's work is the inclusion of painterly elements or devices appropriated from well-known twentieth century artists, including Francis Bacon, Ed Ruscha and Morris Louis.
This series covers a wide range of subjects including celebrity scandal (The White Bronco; Chappaquidick), politics (Nixon's Departure), art (Situationist Apartment May '68), music (Ian Curtis 18.5.80 ) and philosophy (Nietzsche's Chalet). White Bronco, 2001, depicts a critical moment of the notorious O.J. Simpson high-speed car chase. The reflection in the rearview mirror reads HOLLYWOOD in reverse – as in the famous Ed Ruscha painting – while the scene in the side mirror of a helicopter hovering against a fiery orange sky is reminiscent of scenes from Apocalypse Now. In Situationist Apartment May '68, 2001, Twombly-like scrawls decorate the wall, above which reads the word FREEDOM in topsy-turvy block letters. Referring to the tense post-Watergate political climate, Nixon's Departure, 2001, painted in a late Picasso cubist style, depicts a white house divided.
This exhibition is Dalwood's first solo show in the United States, although he has exhibited throughout Europe in such exhibitions as: "Twisted: Urban and Visionary Landscapes in Contemporary Painting," Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven, 2000; "Sausages and Frankfurters: Recent British and German Paintings from the Ophiuchus Collection" the Hydra Workshop, Hydra, Greece, 2000; and "Die Young Stay Pretty," ICA London, 1998.
A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Dave Hickey will accompany the exhibition.