Stephen Walter Nova Utopia

3. Stephen Walter, Nova Utopia, 2013 (detail) © Stephen Walter. Courtesy TAG Fine Arts and Shapero Modern
Stephen Walter, Nova Utopia, 2013 (detail) © Stephen Walter. Courtesy TAG Fine Arts and Shapero Modern

Says Walter:

‘This map is essentially a collection of a number of utopian and dystopian manifestations, some that I yearn for, and also some of the things that I wish didn’t exist.’

Shapero Modern are presenting a new print by the acclaimed British artist Stephen Walter.
Entitled Nova Utopia, the artwork is inspired by Thomas More’s philosophical novel Utopia, and a map of the world he imagined drawn by Abraham Ortelius. ‘Utopia’ by Thomas More, a work of fiction and a political philosophy written 500 years ago in 1516, is an everlasting inspiration for both political theory and art. This book, a narrative depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs, is about persisting human desire to create order and unity in the world, and the imagination of a perfect human society where justice exists for all. Walter’s hand-drawn map updates this to the 21st century, showing a world of mass tourism, package holidays, retirement homes, luxury resorts, banking districts and cultural hotspots.

Nova Utopia is presented inside a ‘Hagioscope Frame’, with a movable magnifying glass lens, so rather than Utopia being a place for everybody, only one person may view a detail of the map at a time, creating a very personal, local experience that becomes a kind of metaphor for how utopias may be seen today.

Stephen Walter, Nova Utopia, 2013, detail through  Hagioscope, Courtesy TAG Fine Arts
Stephen Walter, Nova Utopia, 2013, detail through Hagioscope, Courtesy TAG Fine Arts

Stephen Walter Nova Utopia 13th – 30th April, 2016 at Shapero Modern 32 St. George Street, London W1S 2EA Private View: Tuesday, 12th April, 6 – 8.30pm

About The Artist
Born in 1975, Walter graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2001 and currently lives and works in London. Solo shows include Anthropocene – TAG Fine Arts @ LondonNewcastle Space, Shoreditch, London (2013); The Island – The Courtauld Institute, London (with TAG Fine Arts), Touring Show – including, Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, Exposure Gallery, London (2009); The Island – Launch, The Crypt, St. Pancras Church, London (with TAG Fine Arts) (2008); Old Master Re-Vamp – Royal Academy of Arts, Lower Sackler Wing, London (2007); Be Aware of Everything – The Drawing Gallery, London, Chance Meetings – Vertigo Gallery, London (2005). Group shows include The World in a Mirror – Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp, Belgium, Children’s Poly-Olbion – Royal Geographical Society, London & The Forum, University of Exeter (2015); alpha beta carta, des mots dans les cartes- – Parc culturel de Rentilly, France, RE: DEFINE 2014 – Dallas Contemporary, USA; Enclosure – Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London (2014). His work features in numerous collections including Victoria & Albert Museum, The British Museum, The British Library, Deutsche Bank, London, British Government Art Collection, Houses of Parliament Museums, London, Trussardi Foundation, Milan, Italy, Hiscox PLC, UK, Soho House – Berlin & London, London Transport Museum, David Roberts, London. Walters is represented by TAG Fine Arts, London

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