Sylvie Fleury Hypnotic Poison
3 April – 22 May 2019
The Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury (b. 1961) draws upon our cultural consciousness to explore the intersections between art and commodification, temporality and permanence, masculinity and femininity, providing a critical lens through which these can be re-evaluated. Spanning painting, sculpture, performance and installation, her practice frequently employs materials and processes associated with early Conceptualism, Pop and Minimalism.
The exhibition’s title was taken from the latest work in her neon sign series, created specifically for the Ely Room, which references the iconic fragrance by Christian Dior. Fleury’s neon works investigated the intrinsic links between art and language, using commercial slogans that conjured up associated ideals and aspirations. In her signature makeup palettes, Fleury invited viewers to experience their plush colours writ large, highlighting the strategies of seduction used in cosmetic packaging and branding. Fleury’s shaped canvases conflated the formal vocabulary of Minimalism with the recognisable shapes of the makeup compacts she references. In Fleury’s soft rocket, the apparent impotence of the spaceship subverted the gender dynamics of dominance and power through subtle irony.