David Batchelor: Flatlands

04.05.13 – 14.07.13

David Batchelor (born 1955, Dundee) is best known for his vividly-coloured sculptural installations of illuminated lightboxes, industrial dollies, and other found objects. These three-dimensional works perhaps belie the fact that the root of his interest is and always has been in drawing, painting, abstraction and the monochrome – preoccupations that are best charted in his immensely varied two-dimensional work. This exhibition was the first in-depth presentation of David Batchelor’s drawings and paintings.

Having originally studied painting, Batchelor had, over the twenty years prior to the exhibition, made colour his leitmotif. Not the colour found in nature, but the synthetic colour of the illuminated street sign and lurid glare of the nocturnal metropolis. Whether using conventional materials such as pencil, ink, pastel, gouache and acrylic, or highlighter pen, spray or gloss paint and industrial tape; whether making drawings or paintings intended to be simply drawings or paintings, or making carefully-plotted diagrams of proposals for sculpture, Batchelor’s two-dimensional works show how formal rigour and a modernist aesthetic can be subverted by the deployment of intense, exuberant colour.

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