Supermen Made You But Only Superfluity Will Release You
Galerie Fons Welters is proud to present the first solo exhibition of British artist Martin Westwood. Scattered through the main space of the gallery, self-contained sculptures and wall based works form a constellation that generates a veil of playful alchemy, connecting the natural and architectonic elements. In Westwood’s work the recognizable embraces the abstract and solidifies the familiar strangeness of the quotidian. In the wall based series ‘Boneus’ for example, a car parcel-shelf is cast into polyester resin and juxtaposed with a cast of a puff-pastry twist. Taken from a hatchback car, the parcel-shelf is superfluous to the car’s mechanical workings. Whilst the hatchback is at the low end of the spectrum of cars as status symbols, as much mobility as luxury or status, these parcel-shelves no longer connect to that mobility, nor to the luxury that the car may embody. Rather they hang on the wall waiting for the dreams the machine never fulfilled.
Typical for Westwood’s practice and artistic research is the analysis of the object as a product of economic exchange. As such he focuses on casting objects that rest on the edges of mainstream economy, yet are closely interlinked with it: car parcel shelves and head rests, waiting-room courtesy mints, charity donation boxes and air-fresheners. Quotidian objects that have been rendered unrecognizable become estranged familiarities. In ‘Pere and Terre hang out in Bistro RePeTerre’, two ceramic extrusions stand solidly on a rectangular walnut-veneered plinth, covered by dark smoked glass. The corporate atmosphere of the plinth is contrasted to – yet cohabits with – the organically appearing ceramic extrusions, whose surfaces are compacted and sandy, as if they could dissolve at any moment. Westwood delicately addresses the myths of different economic exchange systems which are made possible not only due to mathematical calculations, but rather the faith we have in them.
Martin Westwood (Sheffield, UK, 1969) lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include: ‘These Hands are Models’, Stanley Picker Gallery, London, UK (2011); ‘Der Menschen Klee’, Kunst Im Tunnel, Dusseldorf, Germany (2011); ‘Acute Melancholia’, Studio 44, Stockholm, Sweden (2010); ‘Comma13 (Hysteresis)’, Bloomberg Space, London, UK (2009); ‘Silt Inter Lace’, Approach, London, UK (2008); ‘Prospects and Interiors: Recent Acquisitions of Sculptors’ Drawings’, The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (2008); ‘Fade held Art Now’, Tate Britain (2005).
[The works in the exhibition ‘Supermen Made you, but only Superfluity will Release You’ were developed during a residency at the European Ceramics Work Centre (EKWC) and as part of his Stanley Picker Fellowship.]