Bryn-Lloyd Evans / John Nielsen / Jonathan Trayte
Bryn Lloyd-Evans, John Nielsen & Jonathan Trayte
13 April – 19 May 2012
Josh Lilley is pleased to announce the opening of a sculpture show featuring Bryn Lloyd-Evans, John Nielsen, and Jonathan Trayte.
The exhibition will highlight three sculpture practices taking place in London today. Each artist's approach to form, structure and display varies from playful inquiry to a more rigorous investigation of the medium. However all purvey a self-reflexive and analytical engagement to their work, acutely aware of the cultural conditions of gallery presentation.
An anthropomorphic entity creeps across the objects on display, yet they are also anthropological in their designs — the notion that the works are somehow reflective of their expected audience or surroundings, becoming overtly self-conscious in the process. The various sculptures have been given a life force that they are now responsible for, enabling them but also tilting them towards narcissism. With this is mind, while Lloyd-Evans' works are elastic and revealing, Nielsen's conceptually "dug up" and static, and Trayte's seemingly frozen and confined, they all present diverse relationships (whether directly or indirectly) towards human consciousness, form or the body.
Through his work, Bryn Lloyd-Evans seeks to address how artists construct thoughtful structures of vision before the physical crafting of their desired materials takes place. For this exhibition, a linear steel sculpture mapping the form of a reclining figure sits upon carefully placed pieces of packaging foam. The figure appears to be holding a makeup compact, perhaps applying the last aesthetic touches before it is fully revealed from under its draped plastic sheet. The work explores the idea that sculptures perform once they are revealed to a public, suggesting it is preparing itself for the exhibitionism of presentation.
John Nielsen is interested in what an exhibition can be, rather than the straightforward presentation of active objects into passive space. He does not see his sculptures as autonomous things, preferring that meaning is extracted from them through their proximity to one another in a space. He refers to such works as sculptures from a place not a person, wanting them to be viewed in the manner of artefacts built by unknown hands, and possibly by many authors. By imagining that the origin of the work is from another time or territory, it brings the history of such a place into the world. Oversized primitive tools, imbalanced tables devoid of logical function, point to the importance of individual histories as well as collective ones, accepting history as a question of interpretation, narration and fiction.
The source of Jonathan Trayte's works can be found in nature, and more specifically in the nocturnal food markets and Chinese 'cash and carry' chains that populate major cities around the world. From processed meats to melons to giant gourds to exotic yams, Trayte surveys his surroundings, transforming organic objects into cast and painted bronze. Once realised, the work is then coated in meticulously painted layers. The highly stylized colours are borrowed from the language of foodstuffs, food packaging and confectionary, where the glossy synthetic skins of paint give the work an almost edible quality. In their delicately stacked and precious arrangements, the sculptures are infused with an anthropomorphic air, evoking temptation and emitting awkwardness at the same time. This connection to the human body as a marketing ploy becomes evidence of a nature and culture mutation that is both misleading and deeply seductive.
Bryn Lloyd-Evans (b. 1987, UK) will graduate with a Masters in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art in 2013.
John Nielsen (b. 1984, UK) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010 and won the Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Award the same year.
Jonathan Trayte (b. 1980, UK) graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2010.