Image:Untitled (8.6.2009) (detail), 2009 Watercolor and gouache on paperPaper size: 25 5/8 x 29 5//16 inches (65 x 74.5 cm)
My work is like a worn step, it is like a smoke detector, it is even like a picture, but it is more like the space between the letters of words.
Gagosian Gallery presents Richard Wright’s second exhibition with Gagosian Gallery in London, which precedes his exhibition at Tate Britain as one of the four artists shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Turner Prize.
Showing at the Davies Street gallery for the first time Wright will create a site-specific work on the ceiling. Given that the form evolves intuitively while Wright paints in situ, the finished work will only be fully visible when the exhibition opens.
Wright continues to develop his unique visual and spatial language painting directly onto walls, ceilings, corners and other more liminal spaces of architecture, reasserting the power of incidental details that adorn the edges of our designed world in his response to the individual character of the elected space. Moving beyond the limits of early conceptualism with its stated arbitrariness, Wright paints each of these works himself with almost medieval precision. In recent years some works have increased in scale and complexity, such as that for “Life on Mars: the 55th Carnegie International” in which thousands of minute red pin-like shapes spread up from the walls onto the ceiling and out through a window frame; or for “Jardins Publics” at the Edinburgh International Art Festival, in which a sequence of black thorn-like shapes fanned across the cornices of a townhouse ceiling from one room to the next.
Wright’s related works on paper are intricate and obsessive, both in execution and effect. In some, thousands of delicate strokes of gold leaf cover the entire sheet of paper, from finely rendered geometric rays that feather out from a densely worked centre, recalling the gilded borders of medieval manuscripts or the light beams of Renaissance annunciation scenes, to more fluid, aleatoric gleaming structures. In other subtly tinted works, kaleidoscopic coloured pattern evokes the designs found on antique porcelain, colliding in dizzying symmetry with extrapolations of typographic fonts and minute handwritten gesture. Finally, scenes of cloud-like forms in anthropomorphic configurations, enlivened by vivid chromatic shading and animated crosshatching, speak to the cosmic mysteries depicted by Gustave Dore and William Blake in their respective ruminations on the creation and destruction of the world.
Richard Wright lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. His commissioned works for public institutions and spaces can be seen permanently in situ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Jumex Foundation, Mexico City; Telenor, Oslo and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. He has also completed many private commissions. Solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2007); Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland (2004); Kunstverein für die Rhinelande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2002); Kunsthalle Bern (2001) and Tate Gallery, Liverpool (2001). Wright is shortlisted for this year’s Turner Prize where his work will be on view at Tate Britain from October 6, 2009 to January 3, 2010.