press release

All I do now is dick around, when the sun goes up and the moon comes out When the leaves are green and the leaves are brown All I do now is dick around

Sparks Dick Around (2006)

Key to Pollard’s art is the frission of play, pleasure and revelation that emerges from studio praxis, the imaginative reverie that surfaces amidst a process of trial and error and concludes only in a summation of mistakes. The distorted materials that feature in the work are born of the school art room, basic mark-making tools that might be used to begin work or translate form: articulated rulers, pencils, rubbers and paintbrushes. They seem to mechanically animate themselves into creatures, sentient body parts, profiles and portraits. The anthropomorphic forms often take the guise of creatures or beasts, departing the cocoon of the studio to start a life on their own. The fog of genesis cleared by closer inspection, we see that this is a purposely phoney autonomy. The tools are evidently surreal trompe l’œil bronze (or plaster) casts, hand painted by Pollard, treated as ready-mades and arranged with Picabiaesque gaiety. The work is intrinsically contradictory, displaying equal measures of the improvised and the hyper self-reflexive; it is seemingly creatio ex nihilo, born of a creative block, the kind of procrastinating emptiness that forms the bedrock of Phillip Guston’s ‘crapola’ and Larry David’s ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’. The work appears to transpire spontaneously upon nothing, swiftly flourishing into progressively absurd, operatic and implausibly fantastical outcomes.

Pollard was included in ‘Aperto Scotland’ at the Prague Biennale and was selected for East International, Norwich, both 2003. Previous solo projects include ‘See-Through Mask’, with Sorcha Dallas (off site project) in May 2004 and a Basel Art Fair Statement in June 2004. Pollard was one of the four selected artists who represented Scotland at The Venice Biennale in 2005. Recent exhibitions include ‘Disintegrating Hand and Other Works’ at The Reliance, London with forthcoming exhibitions in 2007 at Luhring Augustine (curated by Marc Foxx with David Musgrave, Rupert Norfolk and Will Daniels), January; ‘Exhibition of Contemporary Art’ in collaboration with The British Council at Alcala 31, Madrid, March and a solo show at Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 22 April - 2 June. Pollard lives and works in Glasgow


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Alex Pollard
Torch Sculptures