MARK WALLINGER MARK
4 March – 4 June 2017
Known for a practice as stylistically diverse as it is politically engaged, Mark Wallinger’s work encompasses painting, sculpture, photography, film, installation, performance and public art.
This exhibition, presented in two parts, one at The Fruitmarket Gallery and the other at Dundee Contemporary Arts, has been brought together in the context of his newest body of work, the id Paintings. A selection from this series of vast paintings, each 360cm high (twice Wallinger’s height) and 180cm wide (his height again, and also the extent of his reach with both arms outstretched is on show in each part of the exhibition.
These new paintings bring into focus identity as a recurring theme within Wallinger’s practice. Painted by hand (and simultaneously by each hand, the left mirroring the right) they bridge image and action. They move his way of working, as Wallinger has said, from ‘paintings ‘I’s’ to ‘I paint’, the line of symmetry within each Rorschach blot-like painting representing the artist through both action and image.
The standing figure (the subject who stands – and stands up for – something) is one of the most powerful ways in which Wallinger explores identity. This exhibition brings together several such figures: in Edinburgh the bear of Sleeper; the myriad ‘I’s of the Self Portrait paintings and in Dundee the sculpture Self. It also moves beyond the standing figure to look at the importance of naming, marking and above all symmetry in the artist’s work with identity. Symmetry and the doubling, mirroring, twinning, splitting, and looping of the subject that comes with it.