press release

Matthew Bown Galerie is proud to present the first solo show in Germany by the British artist Richard Wilson. Ever since the creation in 1987 of the work 20:50, currently on permanent display in the Saatchi Collection, London, Wilson has been recognised as one of the foremost British artists of his generation. The show at Matthew Bown Galerie presents new sculpture, film, and a survey of Wilson's projects in the form of drawings and models.

Red Hot consists of a 20 x 20 x 20 cm cube fashioned from stainless steel. It stands on a simple column of white fire-bricks which in its simple purity of form references not only 1960s minimalism but the whole classical tradition in sculpture. The steel cube is heated to a temperature approaching 1000 degrees, at which point it acquires a fiery red-orange hue. On one level, Red Hot is a playful meditation on the question of colour in sculpture: the colour is both ‘artificial’, in that it is induced, and ‘natural’, in that it is the colour of the material itself. But the work, which cannot be approached too closely or touched, and which distorts the air around it, also embodies the latent ferocity of an idol. An encounter with it evokes the quests that are central to ancient and modern cultural discourse: for the Golden Fleece, the Holy Grail, or into Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, for example. In our own time, the unattainable Utopia of Communism was often expressed by the heraldic use of the colour red and in the "revolutionary" content of pure geometric forms.

Richard Wilson's stop-motion film Butterfly narrates a painstaking resurrection. A Cessna light aircraft that has been crushed into a ball of metal scrap is then teased and pulled apart again into some kind of semblance of its original vital form. The aeroplane emerges from the twisted block of metal like a butterfly from its cocoon.

In addition to Red Hot and Butterfly, the show at Matthew Bown Galerie includes drawings and models that illustrate several of Wilson's projects, including 20:50 and Turning The Place Over, which was installed in Liverpool in 2007 and is recognised as one of the most spectacular works of public art in Britain.

Richard Wilson is one of the UK’s leading artists working in sculpture, installation and multimedia. He was born in London in 1953. Since the 1970s he has been creating largescale works that challenge expectations of the formal limits of sculpture. He rose to prominence in the mid 1980s with the installation 20:50 – a key work in British installation art – where he filled Matt’s Gallery in east London to waist height with sump oil (in recent years this work has been on display at the Saatchi Collection). For his solo exhibition at LA MOCA in 1996, Wilson took a cue from the ubiquitous LA swimming pool for the work Deep End; while in 2000 for the Millennium Dome New Sculpture Project in London, Wilson sliced a vertical section from a 600 ton sand dredger. He has represented Britain in the Venice (1986), Sao Paulo (1989) and Sydney (1992) Biennales. Wilson is also the subject of monographs including a recent publication by the Tate Gallery, written by Simon Morrissey.

Artist Talk: Richard Wilson in conversation with Mark Gisbourne.

Der britische Künstler Richard Wilson und Mark Gisbourne, britischer kritiker und Kurator im Gesprach über Wilsons' erste Solowhow, die am 2. Juni in der Matthew Bown Galerie in Berlin geöffnet wurde. Ab 17:30 Uhr sind Besucher herzlich eingeladen, bei englischem Tee und Prosecco, die Ausstellung zu besichtigen. Das künstlergesprach beginnt um 18:00 Uhr (auf English) und der Abend endet mit der Finissage der aktuellen Ausstellung. / British artist Richard Wilson and British critic/curator Mark Gisbourne talk about Wilson's first solo exhibition in Berlin which opened at the Matthew Bown Gallery on June 2nd. The gallery opens at 5:30 pm to give visitors a chance to view the exhibition and enjoy some English tea and prosecco. The Artist Talk starts at 6 pm (spoken language: English) and the evening will be concluded with a finissage of the current exhibition.

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Richard Wilson