The Zabludowicz Collection has just announced a new solo exhibition by acclaimed British artist Matthew Darbyshire. Following on from his ambitious solo exhibition at Tramway in Glasgow (27 January–11 March 2012), the London iteration of T Rooms will extend the artist’s inquiry into sculpture, social critique, urban architecture and design.
Matthew Darbyshire was born in Cambridge in 1977 and now lives and works in Rochester, Kent. He graduated from the Slade in 2000 and the RA Schools in 2005. In 2011 his work was included in the British Art Show and The Shape We’re In (London) and (New York) at the Zabludowicz Collection. Darbyshire is currently Fine Art Fellow at Kingston University and will have upcoming solo exhibitions at The Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, London, Jousse Enterprise, Paris and Frac Nord pas de Calais, Dunkerque, France, and in 2013 at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and Bloomberg Space, London. He is represented by Herald Street Galley, London.
For Darbyshire’s exhibition at Tramway the artist created a trompe l’oeil environment implying a fictional situation where T Rooms – a ‘village in the city’ – was under construction. For the Zabludowicz Collection, Darbyshire will rethink this work and create a second enveloping sculptural installation utilising large scale digitally printed banners which reference the building wraps used by developers and councils to obscure empty lots and half-finished building projects in cities up and down the country. Whether covering repair-work on historic buildings or masking empty shops and building sites, these ubiquitous digital renderings communicate an alternative in which the city is the image of perfection; bustling with life and with the recession a distant memory.
The Zabludowicz Collection has commissioned Darbyshire to restage T Rooms and create new art works which will be installed within and around a labyrinth of printed banners. These new works build upon his long-term collaborations with Rupert Ackroyd, Jacob Farrell, Owen Hatherley, Bob Hobbs and Scott King. Through sculpture, photography, film and sound, these works will infiltrate the area surrounding T Rooms, taking the exhibition out of the gallery space and into the street.
T Rooms reflects on the insistent regeneration of our cities, which is initiated by developers and politicians rather than architects or designers. By using the developers’ vernacular of branded motifs distilled from iconic local sites, sharper-than-life computer-generated geometry and uniform symmetry, Darbyshire’s installation riffs on this architectural vocabulary and the various generic yet indecipherable uses it implies. The effect is of an eerily quiet, undefined public space that promotes isolation and alienation and causes visitors to question the realities and potentials of architecture.
Matthew Darbyshire on the exhibition and commission: “In the development of this project, rather than getting too pop and “Twenty Twelve”, I was thinking about the very real possibility of regression, and the potential for a more oblique commentary on the social, political and cultural implications of what’s being built around us today. The tour of this exhibition from Glasgow to London is a really exciting opportunity for me to build upon these ideas and develop new collaborations with the support of the Zabludowicz Collection.”
Elizabeth Neilson on the exhibition: “The Zabludowicz Collection has been collecting Matthew Darbyshire’s work in depth for some time. This exhibition marks the progression of our support into a large scale exhibition and commission. In this momentous Olympic year, when all eyes are on the UK, we sense the urgency of his work and feel his voice contains an essential criticality in the discussion over the ‘regeneration’ of our cities and towns.”
The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Neilson, Director at the Zabludowicz Collection and is accompanied by an extensive public programme of talks, events and screenings as well as an artist’s book, designed by Malcolm Southward and Mark Holt. Affordable limited edition art works produced by Darbyshire are available at the gallery and online: shop.zabludowiczcollection.com.
The Zabludowicz Collection is dedicated to bringing emerging art to new audiences and actively supporting arts organisations and artists. It was founded in 1994, and contains over 2000 works by over 500 artists, spanning 40 years of art production. Its focus is on emerging art from the late 20th century to the present day.
This exhibition marks the fifth anniversary of the Zabludowicz Collection exhibition’s space in a former Methodist Chapel at 176 Prince of Wales Road in north London. The programme is focused on working with artists and curators to produce exhibitions of works from the Zabludowicz Collection which examine contemporary art practice and the Collection in a public forum and respond to the unusual exhibition space at 176 Prince of Wales Road. The Collection also exhibits in permanent venues in the USA and Finland.