press release

Location: Notting Hill, Ledbury Mews North
07.10.2022 - 02.11.2022


Bartha Contemporary is delighted to announce THE GORGEOUS NOTHINGS, a group exhibition curated by gallery artist Susan Morris, bringing together works by leading contemporary artists including Anna Barham, Florian Baudrexel, Erica Baum, Moyra Davey, Tacita Dean, Mathew Hale, Stefana McClure, Susan Morris, Matt Mullican, Celia Pym, Allyson Strafella, Ignacio Uriarte and Charlotte Zinsser.

The title for this group exhibition comes from a book published in 2013 on the envelope poems of Emily Dickinson. [1] It was conceived as a response to Dickinson’s work, but in a way that tells it ‘slant’ - to quote Dickinson herself. The focus is on works that bring the world in by incorporating traces of ready-made printed words or text, and on papery things, especially folded or otherwise manipulated found papers - flyers, receipts, newspapers and magazines or commercially available stationary such as calendars, diaries and year planners.

The works in the show could generally be classified - like Dickinson’s envelop writings - as hybrid objects: half object, half poem. There is an emphasis on the compact form, and on material paraphernalia – the kind of litter that is slowly disappearing as we are directed towards digital versions of everything - diaries, calendars, (invite) cards… etc. Without engaging in nostalgia for these things, I hope the show offers a resistance to the kind of obsessive hygiene that can result from reducing incidences of scrunched-up paper or accidental juxtapositions of printed text - chance operations that reveal unconscious truths about language and subjectivity.

[1] The Gorgeous Nothings by Emily Dickinson. Edited by Jen Bervin and Marta Werner, with a contribution by Susan Howe. New Directions, Christine Burgin series, 2013