Announcing representation of Dexter Dalwood
12 September 2023
Lisson Gallery is pleased to announce exclusive, global representation of Dexter Dalwood, an avowed master of contemporary history painting for over three decades. Born in Bristol, UK, in 1960, Dalwood is now based in Mexico City. The gallery will present Dalwood's work for the first time at the 2023 editions of Paris+ par Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, ahead of a solo exhibition at Lisson Gallery London in September 2024.
Dexter Dalwood translates real-world events into imagined and composite landscapes, furthering the language and narratives of his chosen medium, while acknowledging the weight of all that has come before. An acute understanding and referencing of past artistic genres has recently given way to a style all his own: one that evades figurative tropes, in favour of uninhabited and uncertain spatial concerns, shifting scales and compressed picture planes. The artist’s famed, fictional interiors of Kurt Cobain’s Greenhouse (2000) or Wittgenstein’s Bathroom (2001), executed with knowing painterly flourishes and references – ranging from Willem de Kooning and Clyfford Still to Manet, Munch and Bellini – have since been concentrated down into constricted views from inside an airplane or else expanded through windows into Dalwoodesque spaces that are at one further remove from any original source material. The increasing presence of textual or numerical impositions on the canvases, in addition to abstract passages of gestural and frontal mark making, likewise signifies a distillation and honing of this practice.
Sites of trauma depicted in earlier works such as Brian Jones' Swimming Pool (2000) and the imagined view out of W.G. Sebald’s wrecked car in The Crash (2008), for example, have been replaced with an unnamed sense of foreboding, perhaps evoked by a still from a 24-hour newsfeed, or by the myriad potentialities of a mirrored puddle or a glimpsed ceiling rose. Dalwood’s fragmentary, sample-heavy aesthetic, which often begins with pencil or cut paper studies, goes far beyond a locus for postmodern quotation and displacement. Instead, his paintings enact a dizzying layering of the thought processes behind painting, on top of the vast back catalogue of art history, added to various ongoing bodies of research, as well as an appreciation of the importance of time and memory as touchstones for creating newly epochal images.
In 2017 Dalwood undertook a residency in Oaxaca and made a series titled An Inadequate Painted History of Mexico on his return to London, which has since featured in the touring show, 'Esto No Me Pertenece' at Centro de las Artes San Agustín, Oaxaca, Mexico and Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL), Mexico City, Mexico (2021-22). Dalwood’s other major solo museum shows include: Kunsthaus Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland (2013); CAC Málaga, Spain (2010); FRAC Champagne-Ardennes, Reims, France (2010) and Tate, St. Ives, UK (2010). His work has featured in recent group exhibitions including: ‘The Paradoxes of Internationalism. Part I’, at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico (until 1 October, 2023); 'You to Me, Me to You', A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa (until 18 Nov 2023); ‘Modern Media Networks: Painting and Mass Media’, Tate Modern, London, UK (2020); ‘Hello World. Revising a Collection’, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany (2018); ‘Michael Jackson: On the Wall’, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK touring to Grand Palais, Paris, France, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany and Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland (all 2018-19).