Emerging British artists Jamie Fitzpatrick & Lindsey Mendick open SMUT in Basel

‘SMUT’ is a two-person exhibition of emerging British artists Jamie Fitzpatrick and Lindsey Mendick, whose practices explore a shared interest in gender, high and low cultural histories, and the relevance of the figure in image-making. Opening during Art Basel at Vitrine gallery Basel.

Emerging British artists Jamie Fitzpatrick & Lindsey Mendick open SMUT in Basel
Installation shot courtesy Vitrine Gallery and the artists.

’SMUT’ brings together a collection of works produced concurrently in 2018 by the artists (in some cases in collaboration) in response to a shared interest in The Wallace Collection and its French 18th-century paintings, romantic fragonards, and porcelain figurines.

Emerging British artists Jamie Fitzpatrick & Lindsey Mendick open SMUT in Basel
Vitrine Gallery Basel

Lindsey Mendick describes a trip to the Wallace Collection and the artists bonding “over the grandeur and splendour of both the collection and decor. Gold guilded frames bled into grand paintings of feasting, dancing and amore. Rich brocade ooded the walls, glittering chandeliers dwarfed and aroused us. It dripped in excess and reeked of opulence. It was resolutely us.” These exuberant themes seep from the characters depicted in each artists’ new work, created in a variety of material combinations. Fitzpatrick working primarily with foam and coloured wax; whilst Mendick combines ceramic, painted wood, and fabric.

Jamie Fitzpatrick’s wax sculptures depict dancing male gures blown up from their porcelain gurine scale, with their female partners removed and their features and masculinity exaggerated. Each sculpture sits on a base with wheels to allow movement and a choreography in the space, and their clothes are encrusted in romantic oral decoration. As with much of his work, this new series of sculptures are in uenced by ideas on cultural conditioning and sexual suppression, created from some transgressive act.

Presented by appointment in the viewing room throughout the course of the exhibition, Fitzpatrick’s new silent video work uses his sculptures and the painted backdrop in a studio set-build for filming ‘The Transformative Stag Do’. As performer, the artist presents himself as the ‘Stag’, soon to be married but first subjected to a torturous and absurd ritual of masculinity.

Lindsey Mendick’s new works are gluttonous and porous, exposing lubricious lustre to the spectator. Inspired by William Morris “nothing which is made by man will be ugly, but will have its due form, and its due ornament, and will tell the tale of its making and the tale of its use”, she uses clay’s tactile nature to portray personal narratives. These new works depict party foods and celebrate the spectacle of femininity and feasting, whilst concurrently exploring the private shame associated to female gluttony. Her sculpture ‘The Spectre at the Feast’ is framed by a backdrop painting, painted-in-situ on a double bed sheet, depicting the background of Fragonard’s ’The Swing’. This work is from a series of paintings focused on Mendick’s personal attempts as a female artist to employ the ef orescent language of classic male romantic painting.

Fitzpatrick and Mendick have collaboratively created kissing sculptures, which are inspired by the ‘amour sculptures’ at the Wallace Collection. These small works immortalise tender moments between lovers in a medium that desires to be manipulated by the hand. They are enshrouded by collaborative window paintings.

Together these works in varied materials and media are immersed in their elements into one hedonistic installation. The artists assume their respective masculine and feminine roles and through their work subvert the limitations of gender. The viewer becomes voyeuristic onlooker.

SMUT Jamie Fitzpatrick & Lindsey Mendick 13 June – 2 September 2018 Preview 12 June 2018 5-10pm Opening to coincide with Art Basel 2018 at VITRINE, Basel. www.vitrinegallery.com

About the artists
Jamie Fitzpatrick (b.1985, Southport, UK) lives and works in London. He graduated in 2015 with an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art, having gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practice in 2009 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. Awards include: UK/RAINE Saatchi Sculpture Prize (2015); LAND Securities Award (2015); Vordemberge-Gildewart Award (Shortlist, 2016); XL Catlin Art Prize (2016); and New Contemporaries 2016 and 2015. International exhibitions include: Hope is Strong, Millennium Gallery, Shef eld Museums, UK (2018); Failure, Lito?st, Prague, CZ (2018); Grim Tales, Cassina Projects with ARTUNER, New York, US (2017); Taking Shape: Sculpture on the Verge, Pangaea Sculptor’s Centre, London, UK (2015); Pause Patina, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2015); and a solo booth at ARTISSIMA, Turin, (2016).

Lindsey Mendick (b. 1987, London) received her MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art in 2017, after completing a BA in Contemporary Fine Art at Shef eld Hallam University. She has a solo exhibition for Invites at Zabludowicz Collection, London (April-May 2018) and has recently been awarded the 2018 Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award. Exhibitions include: If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Roaming, London (2018); You See Me Like A UFO, Marcelle Joseph Projects (2017); Herland, Bosse & Baum, London (2017); In Dark Times, Castle eld Gallery, Manchester (2017); She’s Really Nice When You Get To Know Her, Visual Arts Center, Austin Texas (2016); Anne et Lucie, Musee de Valence, France (2016); Performance: Disco 2000, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2015); and Mostyn 19, Mostyn Gallery, Wales (2015).

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, a curation of the world’s most interesting culture + art of CONVERSATION, a tri-annual broadsheet paper ....