Tony Wight Gallery is pleased to present Happy Happy Sad Sad, a solo exhibition of works by London-based artist Luke Dowd. This will be the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.
Luke Dowd’s patterned depictions of diamonds engage the volatility embedded within notions of value. Using screen-printing as gesture, Dowd creates subtle gradients which imbue his images with a faux luster mimicking the qualities of actual gemstones. These painted diamonds appear to reflect and refract light, just like the real thing, pointing towards the sheen of high culture and status, both implicit and inseparable from the value system to which we collectively subscribe. However, these images are also able to extend beyond the role of pure representation, as they address the fictional nature inherent to our conceptions of value.
In these works, subject and material construction remain somewhat dissonant, as typically gleaming gemstones are rendered rather dirty, with a layer of grittiness. However, this does little to dampen their allure. Dowd manages to openly concede to the flat construction of our value systems while, at the same time, presenting the inescapable pull of the aesthetic. In many passages, the repetition of the diamond motif begins to function like the patterning found in wallpaper, emphasizing not only the imagery’s ornamentation but also its pervasive banality.
Luke Dowd (American, b. 1970) received his MA from the Chelsea College of Art & Design in London. Dowd has recently mounted solo exhibitions at Galerie Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt; Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York; HOTEL, London; and The Breeder, Athens. Two-person exhibitions include Le Commisssariat, Paris; and the Whitechapel Project Space, London.