Mat Collishaw: THIS IS NOT AN EXIT

When seen from a distance, these large-scale works appear to be abstract paintings constructed on a classic modernist grid; closer inspection reveals them to be scraps of advertisements for luxury goods culled from ‘lifestyle’ magazines like Tatler and Vogue. But this is only partially the case; they are in fact facsimiles of the precisely folded, origami-like ‘wraps’ used by drug dealers to package cocaine, complete with powdery traces of the narcotic. Our susceptibility to sensational imagery has long been central to Collishaw’s work, and these sumptuous paintings continue this tradition. For all their apparent swagger, they are in reality depictions of nothingness, revealing the symbiotic space that exists between illusion and reality, absence and presence.