With the return of a new series of Twin Peaks announced fans will be overjoyed as David Lynch brings his most recent exhibition to Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, coinciding with the reprise of the iconic hit TV series. A sensational coup for the region, the Tate Plus institution is also the first UK gallery to present ‘David Lynch Naming’, originally shown in Los Angeles, California, curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center, New York.
The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue traces how Lynch uses ‘naming’ in film, photography, drawings, watercolours, painting and prints from 1968 to the present. For the legendary director, photographer and multimedia artist, the act of naming something is never simple. Names are not always descriptive of objects; the drawing of an ‘ant’ and the written word ‘ant’ are never explanatory or equal in Lynch’s universe.
Opening on 12 December, visitors will be able to see how his images and text, working together in unusual ways, create new meanings and a deeper understanding of how language operates.
mima Director, Alistair Hudson said: “David Lynch is an artist who understands how the world is shaped through images, sound, words and the senses. As well as creating some of the most arresting films and television of the last few decades, he has also very clearly shaped our day to day culture. For example Twin Peaks revolutionised television, reclaiming it as a mass shared experience, the original ‘water cooler’ TV serial. But he also brought complex art ideas, visuals and language into mainstream culture that has really changed the way we communicate and see the world. The exhibition will give the public a chance to see the thinking behind this at close quarters for the first time.”
The complex relationship between objects and their names has been a point of departure in Lynch’s work since The Alphabet, the second short film he made as a student in 1968 and shown as part of the exhibition. Based on a dream his first wife had about her niece reciting the alphabet, Lynch has described this early work as ‘a little nightmare about the fear connected with learning.’
Brett Littman, who worked closely with David on the exhibition states: “The show highlights how in the Lynchian universe the use of words, sentence fragments and the act of naming something is never a simple gesture. They are always vibrating against each other in unusual ways.”
Best known as a film and television director, Lynch originally studied painting at the Boston Museum School and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His film and television work – such as Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and the iconic Twin Peaks – is known for being visually striking, surreal, dream-like, disturbing and beautiful: many of these qualities can be seen in his fine art today.
Originally curated for Kayne Griffin Corcoran in Los Angeles, by Brett Littman, Executive Director of The Drawing Center in New York, ‘Naming’ is on display to the public until 26 March 2015.