new exhibitions
SIMON LEE GALLERY

12 Berkeley St, W1J 8DT
020 7491 0100

www.simonleegallery.com
info@simonleegallery.com

Mon-Fri 10-6; pre-book appointments online

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DEXTER DALWOOD: COLLAGES 1999-2011
Apr 12 - May 8, 2021
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of Dexter Dalwood’s collage studies. These works have only been shown once previously in the UK as part of Dalwood’s 2010 exhibition at Tate St. Ives, which later travelled to FRAC Champagne – Ardenne and CAC Malaga.
 
Although created between 1999 and 2011, Dalwood’s collages feel relevant to the present moment in time. Presenting a series of unpeopled, interior scenes, they speak to the supremacy of the domestic realm at a time when our homes have become inescapable, often claustrophobic, territory. Yet these small-scale works intimate a life beyond four walls; indeed, the fourth wall opens to the viewer, offering a voyeuristic glimpse into an empty interior that reveals its occupant by composition – and on occasion, title – only.
 
For Dalwood, his collages existed as exercises in composition. In their subsequent translation to large-scale canvases, he preserved their sharp edges and disjoined aesthetic, resulting in a jarring sense of perspective and proportion that disorients the viewer. In asking his audience to absorb multiple images at once, Dalwood slows down the act of consumption, deconstructing canonical thinking and existing systems of belief, both subjective and collective. In this way, his collages are both symbols representative of his artistic process and his patchwork approach to the inconsistencies of memory.
press release

WERNER BÜTTNER : NO SCENE FROM MY STUDIO
May 13 - Jun 10, 2021
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present No Scene from My Studio, an exhibition of new and recent works by artist Werner Büttner. This is the artist’s debut exhibition with the gallery, coming ahead of a major retrospective spanning his career since the early 80s at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany later this year.
 
Büttner is renowned for drawing out deeper layers of meaning from day-to-day life which may, at first glance, seem banal. His canvases and collages depict a tragi-comic reality, confronting social norms with both irony and satire, while retaining a firm grip on the history of painting. Driven by this unapologetic philosophy, Büttner, alongside Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, became a reactive voice in Hamburg in the late 1970s. The trio felt that art needed to address the failures of human morality within society. The subversive visual language they shaped, dubbed ‘Bad Painting’, dispensed with painterly conventions of technique and taste, in favour of an aesthetic that defiantly reinvented the medium.
 
Büttner invites his audience to rethink traditional subject matter and broader art historical references in the field of painting. Mixing past and present, he deals with icons and imagery, reimagining and reinterpreting them through a contemporary lens. In The Youth of the Venus of Willendorf, Büttner references the Upper Palaeolithic fertility totem, a paradigmatic representation of a voluptuous female figure. The painting offers a revised perspective, portraying a different archetype of a nubile female form with a slender and sensual torso. In considering the Venus of Willendorf at a different age, Büttner unlocks a figure traditionally frozen in time and creates possibilities for new narratives to emerge. Further nods to art history can also be observed in No Scene from My Studio. Here, the blue-tinted figure of a woman stands alone in a composition that recalls Henri Matisse’s iconic multi-coloured cut-outs, while the title calls into question whether the painting is an homage or challenge to the French master. Büttner’s titles reveal a finely tuned sense of irony, often uncovering crude and bitter truths. His bold and enigmatic phrases, and the use of text within a number of the works in the exhibition play a decisive role in the reception of his paintings, directing the viewer’s attention whilst simultaneously leaving space for interpretation.
press release

Click to enlargeCLAUDIO PARMIGGIANI
Jun 16 - Aug 6, 2021
Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Italian artist Claudio Parmiggiani at the London gallery, opening 16 June. Over the past 40 years, the artist has concentrated his practice on themes of memory, absence and silence, developing a language that is at once personal and collective. Parmiggiani’s overarching thesis is his search for an image, object or assemblage that transcends time and individual experience to evoke a universal, existential truth. For his fourth presentation with the gallery and his third exhibition in the London space, he will present both new and historical works, including sculptures and his signature Delocazione.

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