Ten years of work presented in a unique retrospective of artwork by compulsive risk-taker and groundbreaking artist Piers Secunda
Updown Gallery is delighted to present a major solo exhibition by pioneering artist Piers Secunda, featuring important works made across a period of ten years. Piers Secunda – A Retrospective runs 22 June – 27 July 2013 at Updown Gallery, Ramsgate.
Since 2009, when Secunda and his interpreter encouraged soldiers from the Chinese Army (PLA) to shoot some works for him on a firing range near Shanghai, the artist has travelled around the world to gather bullet holes, both cast and shot. The China works started an ongoing series which continues to run, and which in 2010 took him to Kabul, Afghanistan, to mould Taliban bullet holes from suicide bomb sites. The resulting works have been described as “the most compelling works to have come out of the Taliban conflict.”
This wide-ranging exhibition will cover Secunda’s renowned “Bullet Hole” series – in which his practice incorporates bullet holes shot and cast in some of the world’s most notorious danger zones, including Afghanistan and the no-go neighbourhoods of Kingston, Jamaica – to his most recent assemblages and crude oil silk screens.
Over 17 years Secunda’s artistic practice has evolved around the use of paint as a sculptural medium, and has resulted in highly complex structures created from paint alone. It is the combination of innovative techniques within a powerfully symbolic setting that sets this method apart. Secunda’s work is often steeped in forgotten histories and laced with geo-political references, such as printing with crude oil, ultimately producing work full of rich narratives – while simultaneously pushing paint to its absolute limits.
“I have always been bothered by the physical restraints of the canvas. For me it limits what a painting can be, so I've disposed of it and I handle the paint on its own – by default the paint behaves like a sculptural material.”
Increasingly aware of how contemporary lives are entirely facilitated by oil, and setting out to record the petro-chemical age with the oil itself, Secunda was able to make crude oil behave like paint and began to screen print images in 2009. The works portray the defining moments of the petro-chemical age – using oils from the locations portrayed in his
The crude oil project will span Secunda’s lifetime – and will cover the key moments in the defining material of our age. His project reveals little-known world-changing moments such as the first discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia in 1937 (Dammam No. 7), an event which dramatically changed the balance of both politics and economics.
Piers Secunda – A Retrospective
11 Elms Avenue
22 June – 27 July 2013
Tuesday – Fr iday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 11am – 6pm
Monday by appointment
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