REVIEW: David Harrison, Flowers of Evil, at Victoria Miro Gallery I, - FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine covers contemporary art- News, Exhibitions, Interviews and cool art stuff reported on from London

REVIEW: David Harrison, Flowers of Evil, at Victoria Miro Gallery I,

In a world of sliding doors, we might not have this show by David Harrison. The veteran painter was once invited to front the Sex Pistols. He demurred, and for John Lydon and Co., the rest is history. It is difficult to see, from the floral and fragrant visions on show at Victoria Miro, quite what Malcolm McLaren was thinking of when he made his unlikely offer.

David Harrison, Flowers of Evil, Foxglove Fairy Moonbathing, 2015 Oil on cardboard 93 x 51 cm 36 5/8 x 20 1/8 in

Harrison paints urban wildlife scenes that include cloying blooms, insect infestations, the occasional hare, the occasional skull and bleak views across the London skyline. He appears no fan of the City, or for that matter, much of the redevelopment taking place in the capital. For every iconic high rise, this painter offers instead full moons, disenchanted youths, or one or two full-breasted witches.

David Harrison, Flowers of Evil, Parson in the Pulpit, 2014 Oil on card 40 x 68 cm 15 3/4 x 26 3/4 in

The teeming undergrowth in most of Harrison’s Flowers of Evil series call to mind the artist Richard Dadd and indeed the entire show conjures with a Victorian belief in fairies. But saying that, many of the details here (such as French kissing skulls, or the male nude with plant sprouting from erection) would have had no place in the salons of the 19th century. Nor would Harrison’s forebears have been happy to paint on cardboard. At times he will strip away the paper surface to reveal the corrugated ‘roots’ below.
At times suffocating and a bit sickly, Flowers of Evil is nevertheless a well-considered and powerful body of work which offers a decadent alternative to the property boom which continues to change the face of London for the worst. 40 years on there’s a bit of Anarchy in the UK here in Shoreditch.

Flowers of Evil Until Friday 18th December 2015 Victoria Miro Gallery I 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

Words Mark Sheerin

David Harrison, Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Ugly, The Kiss, 2015
Oil on cardboard 36.6 x 33.4 cm 14 3/8 x 13 1/8 in



Related Posts

Victoria Miro has announced representation of Flora Yukhnovich

Victoria Miro has announced the representation of Flora Yukhnovich. The London-based painter, whose work was first shown at the gallery in a group exhibition in 2019 and has held two subsequent solo exhibitions inspired by a residency with the gallery in Venice, will have a solo show in London in 2022.

Art Video Nights at Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

Running from December 5th to 8th, Art Video Nights will showcase 60 film and video works on the 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center in SoundScape Park.

Trending Articles

Submit Your Work

Submit your work to be featured on FAD