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07 December 2013  -  18 January 2014

Charlie Billingham



07 December 2013 - 18 January 2014

Preview Friday 06 December 2013, 6.30 - 8.30 pm

Ceri Hand Gallery is delighted to present Tender, an exhibition by Charlie Billingham, his first solo presentation in a commercial gallery in London. Billingham is exhibiting new paintings, sculptural and textile works (all 2013).

Three boat sculptures, designed to echo the silhouette of a Laser Pico sailing dinghy, dominate the central gallery floor. Built from Zebrano, plywood and chromed metal, incorporating both the language of boat construction and furniture design, these objects act as part of a framework, each containing a pair of paintings. The framing is extended as these wooden structures are positioned on top of large tapestries which were woven in Belgium, from a watercolour Billingham painted following a holiday on a Greek Island – essentially the genesis to this body of work.

Appearing to be observing the objects and activities in the room, closely hung sets of paintings adorn the two longer walls of the gallery, each one depicting two boats floating in the sea: some attached to the dock, others in the open water. They are composed on the wall into familial and social groups. The paintings appear to be spectating a sailing race, with the boat sculptures positioned at optimum aqua-dynamic angles. The stasis of the sculptures, however, is clearly evident: it is left ambiguous as to whether we are looking at a snapshot of rapid activity or if the boats are sat discarded on land.

The paintings framed in the boat structures demonstrate Billingham's sustained interest in the material and psychological potency of painting. These pairs of abstract paintings are in dialogue with one another, and it is this dynamic that Billingham is exploring. The paintings reflect the complex tensions and discourse between people or objects: passivity, dominance, confusion, harmony, dissonance and joyousness.

Drawing on influences from Monet, Matisse, Bonnard, Guston, de Keyser, Mitchell and the Bloomsbury Set, Billingham reflects on possibilities within painting, celebrating qualities of these past masters, who retain so much agency within current practice. He is interested in how his absent subjects occupy the paintings and contexts they are introduced to, and how they attempt to form relationships with each other and the viewer.

Charlie Billingham was born in London in 1984 and he lives and works in London. He obtained an MA (Hons) in Fine Art and History of Art from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art (2008), followed by a Post Graduate Diploma from the Royal Academy Schools (2013). Recent solo presentations include: Coming Out, Royal Academy Schools (2013) and Hunting Dogs, Hunting Cats, Marcelle Joseph Projects (2012). Group shows include Art Britannia, Miami, (2013); Open Heart Surgery, Moving Museum, London, (2013); Febreeze, Kinman, London, (2013); Clay Pipe, HFBK, Hamburg, (2013); Assemble, Liquid Courage, Nassau, (2013); New Order: British Art Today, Saatchi Gallery, London, (2013); Another Room, R O O M, Artspace, London, (2012); Premiums Interim Projects, Royal Academy, London (2012). In January 2014, Billingham will be showing work in Filthy English at OHWOW Gallery in Los Angeles. Billingham is the currently recipient of a year long studio award from Land Securities at the Bow Arts Trust.

Download Charlie Billingham: Tender Exhibition Catalogue

For more information please contact Hannah Pierce 0207 633 0918 or visit
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