For his fourth solo exhibition at Flowers Gallery, Cedric Christie presents a new series of sculptures and works on paper, expanding his ongoing negotiation of the boundaries between painting and sculpture, and the formal interactions of colour, shape and surface.
Constructed from painted stainless steel angle bars and coloured plastic spheres, Christie’s sculptures appropriate the sensory allure of the manufactured consumer object, incorporating industrial fabrication processes, such as stove enamelling. The spheres, with their seductive high-gloss surfaces and vivid hues, provide Christie with a readymade palette (white, red, purple, green, blue, brown or black) with which to ‘paint’ his three-dimensional forms.
His serial arrangements explore the rhythmical interplay of tension and harmony between their coloured surfaces. Titles such as The Emotion of Salieri and The Passion of Amadeus evoke the love and rivalry between the two classical composers (as shown in the film Amadeus by Milos Forman, 1984), reflecting Christie’s balance of synergistic and opposing forces. Continuing his critique of the history of modernism, and marking a development of the series ‘Black & White Paintings of Colour’ (1996), Christie describes the works as monochromes, referring to both the material and transcendental properties of pure colour.
Christie says: “In a world that has naturally progressed to a situation where we are bombarded with the visual through the media, where we are saturated with its reproduction, could it now be ‘the time of the object’?” With an economy of form and colour, Christie transforms everyday materials into objects of contemplation, in which we can consider the essence of our relationship to the material world.
Born in 1962, Christie lives in East London and is a visiting professor at Bath Spa University. After completing an apprenticeship in welding, Cedric used his knowledge of metal to make sculptures, first exhibiting in 1994. Christie is known for his Pink Painting, 2009, a crushed and wall mounted car, one of 12 cars in which Christie had travelled between Basel, dOCUMENTA and Skulptur Projekte with friends Gavin Turk, Richard Strange, Simon Liddiment and Paul Tucker.
His signature artworks, noted for their use of steel, scaffolding tube, snooker balls, cars, chalk lines, graphic text and commercial fabrication processes, have resulted in a string of solo shows and public art commissions both in the UK and internationally, in Brussels, Antwerp and New York. In 2011 Cedric Christie exhibited Color Movement at Flowers Gallery, New York, in which he drew inspiration from dance – in particular George Balanchine’s ballet, Agon (1957). He has curated exhibitions such as: Line & Value: Part One, UpDown Gallery, Ramsgate, 2014, and Something I Don’t Do, Flowers Gallery, London 2009.
His work is to be found in many collections including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; the Zabludowicz Collection; Unilever, London; Derwent Valley Holdings plc, London; Brown Rudnick Freed and Gesmer, London; and Land Securities, London.
Cedric Christie: When Colour Becomes A Beautiful Object. And An Object Becomes A Beautiful Colour – Flowers Gallery – until 3 October 2015