Philippe Bradshaw: Mr Tooth, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, 2003 Philippe Bradshaw: Mr Tooth, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, 2003
Philippe Bradshaw: Mr Tooth, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Marais, 2003

Philippe Bradshaw Mr Tooth

1 March—1 April 2003
Paris Marais
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Overview

The work takes the form of anodized aluminium curtains, made up of coloured chains, similar to those seen hanging in kitchens in the South of Europe. 

The Galerie Thaddeus Ropac is happy to announce its new Paris exhibition of recent works by the franco-british artist, Philippe Bradshaw. The gallery has closely collaborated with the artist since 'Sex and the British', a group show curated by Norman Rosenthal in 2000. Bradshaw has since become a hot favourite; in 2001 the gallery devoted a show entirely to his work and he was the single artist to represent the gallery at FIAC in 2001. Bradshaw has been given an important exhibition at the Deitch Project New York this year and is represented in important European collections. The work takes the form of anodized aluminium curtains, made up of coloured chains, similar to those seen hanging in kitchens in the South of Europe. The links appear as pixels on a screen, and work together to create a stationary or moving image. A video sequence is then projected onto this coloured backdrop bringing together both elements of the work into a...

The Galerie Thaddeus Ropac is happy to announce its new Paris exhibition of recent works by the franco-british artist, Philippe Bradshaw. The gallery has closely collaborated with the artist since 'Sex and the British', a group show curated by Norman Rosenthal in 2000. Bradshaw has since become a hot favourite; in 2001 the gallery devoted a show entirely to his work and he was the single artist to represent the gallery at FIAC in 2001. Bradshaw has been given an important exhibition at the Deitch Project New York this year and is represented in important European collections.

The work takes the form of anodized aluminium curtains, made up of coloured chains, similar to those seen hanging in kitchens in the South of Europe. The links appear as pixels on a screen, and work together to create a stationary or moving image. A video sequence is then projected onto this coloured backdrop bringing together both elements of the work into a coherent image. The installations create a 'zapping' of image and sound.

Bradshaw crosses 18th century France, (Fragonard's 'Swing', Courbet' 'Origin of the World') Rembrandt, Manet and even Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' before coming face to face with Mondrian and Warhol. Bradshaw's choice of paintings follows two paths: works done by artists subject to media attention; and the most famous images in the history of art. The history of art according to the gospel of the public... These are arts most celebrated and inescapable images, in a word, Icons.

Bradshaw employs different methods; firstly, to cut out, paste and repeatedly copy the image (Warhol inspired 'Diamond Dust Shoes'.) Secondly, the icon is suggested in its full form by using part of the image; (the head of the Statue of Liberty is sufficient to evoke the figure in its entirety). Or, the icon becomes a shadow of its former image (the 'Pisseuse', after Picasso) Bradshaw turns the strength of this painting into fragility. These images shimmer with a new lightness, Bradshaw has not smashed the icon, merely reinterpreted it; they can survive his onslaught.

So, Bradshaw challenges the essence of these great icons. Bradshaw's work imbues new meaning, a new interpretation and liberation of the image from its 'trapping' iconic status. He opens the "trap" and releases the image using the medium of video. The projection is forever moving and changing so image becomes subject to a certain energy. Fire and water appear as a strong leitmotif throughout his work. Bradshaw uses one element to dissolve another in an equation balanced between projector and image. Artist becomes alchemist in the laboratory of the gallery.

Bradshaw comes down from his binge of sex, drugs and rock and roll to fight this iconoclastic crusade, Warhol, the Byzantine must stand down: Bradshaw uses women in his attack, they appear nude, full of sensuality and energy. Here, the Ego confronts the Icon in order to fight the preconceived idea of the image, so as to reinterpret and find new identity in this 'icon'.

We emerge from the womb - Courbet's'The Origin of the World' into a paradise of 'Boucher's Odalisques' which fade into the middle distance as Bradshaw asks us to dance 'Mondrian's Boogie Woogie' before it all goes up in flames on the seat of Warhol's electric chair. Disaster unfolds to a soundtrack of punk rock.

Installation Views

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    Installation view of 'A Focus on Painting' at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House; Dona Nelson Installation view of 'A Focus on Painting' at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House; Dona Nelson
    Installation view of 'A Focus on Painting' at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House; Mandy El-Sayegh Installation view of 'A Focus on Painting' at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House; Mandy El-Sayegh
    Installation view of 'A Focus on Painting' at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House; Rachel Jones Installation view of 'A Focus on Painting' at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House; Rachel Jones
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    Installation view of Oliver Beer's Oma at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House Installation view of Oliver Beer's Oma at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House
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