A Sort of Night to the Mind, A KIND OF NIGHT FOR OUR THOUGHTS

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A Sort of Night to the Mind, A KIND OF NIGHT FOR OUR THOUGHTS
Curated by: Moyra Derby, Bob Matthews

Arch 402, Cremer Street
London E2 8HD
United Kingdom
May 6th, 2011 - June 10th, 2011
Opening: May 5th, 2011 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

shoreditch, hoxton
020 7043 2027
Wednesday-Friday 11-6, Saturday & Saturday 11-3
graffiti/street-art, landscape, figurative, modern, traditional


A Sort of Night to the Mind
Illusion and Materiality in Contemporary Painting

Phillip Allen, Edwin Aitken, Andrew Bick, Simon Burton, Varda Caivano, Leigh Clarke, Nigel Cooke,  Moyra Derby, Pamela Golden, Mark Hampson, Beth Harland, Mark Harris, Vincent Hawkins, Claude Heath, Paul Housley, Roger Kelly, Bob Matthews, Andrea Medjesi-Jones, Jost Münster, Martina Schmid, Joel Tomlin, Phoebe Unwin, Julian Wakelin

6 May – 10 June, 2011 *Gallery hours: Wed-Fri 11-6, Sat-Sun 11-3

Private View 5 May, 6 – 9pm

Arch 402 Gallery is delighted to present A Sort of Night to the Mind, A KIND OF NIGHT FOR OUR THOUGHTS, an exhibition of twenty-three UK based artists engaged with painting. Curated by Moyra Derby and Bob Matthews, the exhibition will also host a series of talks and educational events led by some of the featured artists [further information to follow].

Two alternative translations of Honoré de Balzac’s description of illusion from the 1832 short story ‘The Purse’ provide the title for this exhibition. First shown at The Herbert Read Gallery  at the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury, ‘A Sort of Night to the Mind, A KIND OF NIGHT FOR OUR THOUGHTS’ demonstrates the recurring relevance of illusion and in counterpoint, materiality. Illusion and materiality can be argued as so inevitable in the context of painting as to hardly warrant remark, but at the same time they muster such historically resonant responses and strength of feeling that they can feel like a prompt to take sides. However it is an interest in the productive play between these two qualities of a marked surface that has brought this group of works together, an acknowledgment of the imaginative potential of oppositions; “In the half light the physical tricks used by art to make things seem real disappear completely.... At that hour illusion reigns supreme; perhaps it comes with the night? Is not illusion a kind of night for our thoughts, a night which we furnish with dreams?” (1)

(1) Honoré de Balzac 1832 The Purse ‘a kind of night for our thoughts’ as translated by Sylvia Raphael 1977 Penguin Books, ‘a sort of night to the mind’ as translated by Clara Bell Classic Literature Library classic- ‘
'A la faveur du clair−obscur, les ruses matérielles employées par l’art pour faire croire à des réalités disparaissent entièrement….. A cette heure, l’illusion règne despotiquement : peut−être se lève−t−elle avec la nuit ? l’illusion n’est−elle pas pour la pensée une espèce de nuit que nous meublons de songes ?’

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