Simon Lee Gallery presents Your Mother, an exhibition of new paintings by London-based artist Toby Ziegler. This is his second solo exhibition with the gallery in Hong Kong.
A new body of work takes as its source two paintings by the seventeenth century French painter Georges de la Tour. Magdalene with the Smoking Flame, and The Flea Catcher, both painted between 1630 and 1640, offer mirrored compositions of a seated female figure in contemplative chiaroscuro. Working from this axis Ziegler develops an anatomical and figurative lexicon. The largest paintings of the group imagine the meeting of the two compositions, as if the sacred and the profane subjects were to meet in a single pictorial space. Other works re-frame each individual figure, or suggest intimate cropped details, just visible through a lattice of geometric pattern. For the first time, Ziegler’s painting practice arcs back to his sculptural work, a fragmentation and re-assembling of body parts in which medium and subject intertwine and coalesce.
As with earlier series, each painting begins as a digitally rendered image, its composition and content manipulated from a low-resolution jpeg of the source image. This visual information is then translated into oil on an aluminium surface, only to be disrupted once the paint is dry, with an orbital sander rubbed into its surface to reveal the metal beneath. The slow, delicate process of figurative painting is held in stark contrast to the disruptive rapidity of this erasure. The overlaid grid or geometric pattern, a nod towards abstract modernism, further obliterates the picture plane. The formal composition is on the brink of collapse.
Toby Ziegler was born in 1972 and lives and works in London, UK. His work has been shown extensively internationally and has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including an exhibition opening in 3 November at Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia (2018); New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury, UK (2017); Simon Lee Gallery London, UK (2016); The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK (2014); Old Burlington Car Park, London, UK (2012); Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK which travelled to Sarisalvo, Finland, New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK and Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland (2011-2012).
Major institutional group shows include My Abstract World, me Collectors Room Berlin / Olbricht Collection, Berlin, Germany (2016); Private Utopia: Contemporary Works from the British Council Collection, Tokyo Station Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (exh. cat.), which travelled to Itami City Museum of Art, Itami, Japan, Kochi Museum of Art, Kochi, Japan, and Okayama Museum of Art, Okayama, Japan (2015); Conflict and Collisions: New Contemporary Sculpture, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK (2014); The Red Queen, Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia (2013); Gold, Belvedere, Vienna, Austria (2012); The Future Demands Your Participation, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2010); Newspeak: British Art Now, The State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia and The Saatchi Gallery, London (2009-2010); Hamsterwheel, initiated by Franz West, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2008); Recent Abstraction, British Art Displays 1500-2007 at Tate Britain, London (2007).
His work is part of major private and public collections including The Arts Council of England; The British Council; Tate Britain; François Pinault Foundation; Zabludowicz Collection; Goss-Michael Foundation; Kadist Art Foundation; British Airways Collection; Hudson Valley Centre for Contemporary Art and Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania.Toby Ziegler: Your Mother, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Simon Lee Gallery Hong Kong