artists & participants

press release

550 paintings by Colin Darke and David Mabb combine to construct Commodity Form, an overlapping selection of works. While each series has the potential to be shown singly, the juxtaposition of the two opens a debate between the political concerns of the artists.

The Capital Paintings, 480 paintings by Colin Darke, reference a previous work Capital, which featured 480 laminated found objects onto which the three volumes of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital had been transcribed. The objects from this series painted without the text questions both the means of consumption and the means of production, in addition to raising the issue of the alienation of the worker from his work.

The 70 works make up Rhythm 69, David Mabb’s series, are a perplexing union of references. Pages from a block-printed William Morris wallpaper pattern book from the 1960s have been glued onto individual canvases. A number of images by Hans Richter are sequentially painted onto each page from the Morris wallpaper pattern book. The Hans Richter images are from a storyboard from 1970 for a proposed animated film Rhythm 25 based on sketches by Kasimir Malevich, dating from 1927. The result is a sequential dialectical exchange between Malevich’s work as interpreted by Richter and Morris’ utopian designs.

Colin Darke studied at Goldsmiths College, graduating in 1980. After moving to Derry in 1988, his work initially attempted to address the northern conflict, making text works referring to prisoners’ letters. This led to writings and drawings on gallery walls. His last text piece, titled Capital (2000-2003), consisted of writing Marx’s magnum opus onto 480 two-dimensional commodities. This piece formed the basis of The Capital Paintings (2004-2007). Previous group exhibitions include Manifesta 3, Ljubljana (2000), Venice Biennale (2003) and Busan Biennale (2004). He has held solo shows in Derry, London, Ontario and, earlier this year, in Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin.

David Mabb is influenced by the history of William Morris as designer, poet and essayist, reinterpreting Morris' textiles to investigate political and artistic traditions. His solo exhibitions include The Decorating Business Oakville Galleries Ontario 2000, A Factory As It Might Be or The Hall Of Flowers Art Gallery of Windsor Ontario 2003, William Morris, “ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich” Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester 2004, Morris in Jaipur: The work of Art in the Context of Hand-made Reproduction Jaipur and New Delhi 2005, Art into Everyday Life Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius 2006. David Mabb teaches at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

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Colin Darke & David Mabb