on the passage of a few patterns through a rather brief moment in time: david mabb's appropriations of william morris 1999-2011

Thursday, 12 January 2012

18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): David Mabb (artist)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: The Courtauld Institute of Art in collaboration with Two Temple Place

painting in blues, greens and reds of roses and birds with black and red squares
David Mabb, Canvas 10 from Two Squares (2008). Paint on wallpaper mounted on canvas. Fourteen 30 x 24 inch canvases. © Courtesy of the artist

William Morris thought that interior design had a fundamental role to play in the transformation of everyday life. This essentially political motivation - a commitment to the radical potential of design - is behind much of his work as a designer and craftsman and the setting up of Morris & Co. Morris' designs are highly schematized representations of nature, where it is always summer and never winter; the plants are always in leaf, often flowering, with their fruits available in abundance, ripe for picking, and with no human labour in sight. Mabb's paintings, photographs, textiles and videos, work with and against Morris' designs by contrasting them with the work of Malevich, the Russian Constructivists, modernist architecture, photographs of industry and recently images of slogans. These combinations produce unstable picture spaces that are never fixed, where a Morris pattern and the other image never merge or separate.

David Mabb dressed in boiler suit printed with leaves and flowers, and smoking a pipe
David Mabb, Self-portrait as Rodchenko(2002). Black and white photo. Photo: Robin Forster. © Courtesy of the artist
This lecture has been organised to accompany the exhibition William Morris: Story, Memory, Myth which is open until 29 January 2012 at Two Temple Place. The exhibition draws upon the remarkable collections of the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, which is closed for major refurbishment until July 2012.

Organised in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art, this exhibition is the first in the annual series of exhibitions by The Bulldog Trust which are intended to draw on and increase the visibility of collections across the country, and to provide opportunities for young and emerging curators.

in collaboration with:

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