press release

Hales Gallery is pleased to announce Richard Galpin’s first solo show in London.

Galpin’s new work uses photographs of complex urban structures, which are then stripped away by hand to reveal fragmented forms and grids in dynamic spatial compositions.

The works are standard photographic prints that have been meticulously scored and peeled to remove certain areas of the surface emulsion. Fragmented elements are left for the viewer to piece together evidence of the image. This strictly reductive process provides a fixed framework to the possibilities of abstraction.

The work makes visual reference to early modernist abstraction and Constructivism. There is an engagement with the formal and aesthetic qualities of these references, found within the contemporary urban landscape. Structures such as enclosures at the zoo, street railings, or children’s playgrounds are set adrift on the white background, confounding the way in which they enclose space.

The minute workings of the surface show a physical pleasure in the making of the work. Implicit in this is the artist’s pleasure in his relationship to the urban environment, mediated by the image.

For the viewer the use of the photograph infuses the work with a sense of lived experience, reactivating associations with familiar places. Between the clean lines and reduced forms there is the insistent veiled presence of a specific place and time.

Richard Galpin graduated from the Goldsmiths MA in 2001. Since then his work has been included in Looking With/Out at the Courthauld Institute alongside Dan Graham, and Jeff Wall, and in the exhibition ATTACK: ATTRACTION Painting/Photography at the Marcel Sitcoske Gallery in San Francisco with Gerhard Richter, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. His work has been collected widely and is included in the collections of the Derwent Valley Holdings, Deutsche Bank, and the Government Art Collection.

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Richard Galpin