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De Brock is proud to present ‘Sides’, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with British artist Dexter Dalwood, featuring a suite of paintings spanning the last five years.

Dalwood received early acclaim for his contemporary reimagining of the History Painting genre. His intellectually rigorous and aesthetically alluring artworks, each preceded by a precise preparatory cut-and-paste collage, amalgamated a diverse range of visual and conceptual references, from art history to popular culture, socio-political turning points to the artist’s own lived experiences. Following a mid-career retrospective at Tate St Ives, Dalwood was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize in 2010, demonstrating painting’s enduring importance as both a communicative tool and a means of documenting or decoding the world we all inhabit.

The artworks on display in ‘Sides’ exemplify the latest evolution in an ever-advancing practice founded upon the constant questioning of paintings’ place within contemporary culture and our screen-obsessed society. In the wake of a period of immense personal loss in 2016, as well as a rejuvenating residency in Mexico the following year, Dalwood dispensed with those precursory collages in favour of more direct decision-making during the painting process. Keen to elicit an emotional reaction or impassioned response from viewers, the artist also refrains from references that would require a didactic deciphering, aiming instead to stimulate a subjective self-awareness, a stillness, and to evoke the ethereal experience of looking while looking.

Think with the Heart (Mexico) and Think with the Heart III, from a series of paintings produced in response to Austrian poet and novelist Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s 1902 prose work Ein Brief (or The Lord Chandos Letter), look to linguistic forms and functions in a comparative exercise exploring the inherent limitations of language and, by extension, painting. The artist’s enduring interest in art history is evidenced by Warholian Pop Art posies that punctuate the paintings’ dark, melancholic expanse. Dalwood’s keen observance of painting’s past is equally present in Hard and Snow Screen, which echo the influence of Ukiyo-e printmakers such as Utagawa Hiroshige on the practices of many prominent Post-Impressionists. Here solitary scenes of vacant cinema screens and car interiors are overwhelmed by stylised studies of snow and rain that reduce representation to its most simple signifiers.

Finally, Glitch and Crosswalk, two of the most recent artworks in the exhibition, are imbued with illusionary effects akin to those employed by preeminent exponents of post-war Op Art. Defining dates appear to descend in hypnotic paintings that share similarities with autostereograms, the popular magic eye pictures activated by directing one’s gaze into the middle distance, resulting in a certain vacant stare also examined in Dalwood’s pensive depictions of rainy window-gazing or running a bath.

The opening reception will be held in presence of the artist on Saturday 10 September from 6 till 8 pm.

For enquiries, please contact