Oliver Clegg mounts his first U.S. solo exhibition during Dallas Arts Week 2016
Presented by Erin Cluley Gallery, Life Is a Gasssss will showcase thirteen new works and immersive dining experiences
New York, NY and Dallas, TX — January 26, 2016 — Brooklyn-based mixed media artist Oliver Clegg will share a body of new work for his first solo exhibition in the United States, opening April 9, 2016. Exploring themes of change and resilience, Life Is a Gasssss will depict 20th century pop icons as an allusion to how the information overload of the 21st century has impacted visual culture. The cross-media selection of works will reflect the breadth of the artist’s practice – a diversity that will be evoked as well in the artist’s first monograph, the publication of which will coincide with the opening of the show.
Populating the gallery walls will be ten oil-on-canvas paintings, each depicting a seemingly deflated Mylar balloon in the shape of a 20th century pop icon. “That the Mylar balloons are seemingly deflated—but still apparently floating—addresses the struggle of these icons to remain relevant,” said Clegg. Icons depicted include Bugs Bunny, Snoopy, Bart Simpson, and others.
In the center of the gallery, an oversized golden carrot will suspend from a floor-mounted pole that echoes the right-angle structure of a set of traffic lights. Nearby will be a large, wall-mounted mirror onto which the letters “life is a gasssss” will run continuously on an animated loop. Adjacent to the gallery, an annex will house a kinetic, multimedia installation in which an illuminated disco ball will project the word “me” in an infinite prismatic dispersion on the enclosed space’s four walls. Accompanying the sculpture will be a one-tenth speed audio loop from Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”
The exhibition will continue in a former ice factory just a short walk from the gallery, where Until the Cows Come Home, a kinetic sculpture that debuted at the Brooklyn Museum in 2014, will be host to a series of interactive dinners the week of April 9. Like a game of social roulette, participants will dine on both sides of a donut-shaped table-and- chair apparatus made of two concentric circles, the outer circle spinning manually every 20 minutes. The table “satisfies our distracted generation’s need for constant updating and change,” explains Clegg, “while requiring diners to engage in the non-digital activity of face-to-face human interaction.”
Said the Brooklyn-based English artist of the opportunity to show in Dallas: “The diverse range of young galleries and wonderfully curated Museum exhibitions, coupled with a refined enthusiasm for the arts, make Dallas a less obvious but no less interesting place to exhibit contemporary art.”
Added gallerist Erin Cluley: “Working with Oliver made sense from the beginning with his high level of craft combined with play and humor. The work is provocative and enchanting at the same time. We are thrilled to be mounting his first-ever solo exhibition in the U.S., and we know Dallas is going to love where Olly’s work takes them.”
As part of Dallas Arts Week, Clegg will donate a unique painting to an MTV RE:DEFINE charity auction hosted by Paddle8. The online auction will culminate at the fifth annual MTV RE:DEFINE gala on Friday, April 8 at Dallas Contemporary. Proceeds will benefit the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Dallas Contemporary.
Released in tandem with the opening of Life Is a Gasssss will be Oliver Clegg, the artist’s first monograph. Designed by Dominique Clausen and published by Anomie, the 280- page hardcover book will include texts by British writer Martin Herbert and a tombola interview with Cabinet Magazine founder/editor Sina Najafi.
Life Is a Gasssss will be on view April 9 – May 7 at Erin Cluley Gallery, 414 Fabrication Street in the new Trinity Groves area of West Dallas. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 11am - 6pm, Saturday noon - 5pm, and by appointment.