Selected works by David Thorpe

David Thorpe
Kings of The Night

1998

Paper Collage

149 x 168cm

David Thorpe’s work is concerned with the relationship between objects and their makers, with a particular interest in the role of craft and labour in handmade design and art. “I’m playing with certain associations,” he has said, “slightly New Age, slightly Space Age, slightly threatening…I’m absolutely in love with people who build up their own systems of belief.” This idea is reflected in works that variously reference modernist principles of object-making, utopian social architecture, Japanese woodblock prints, and Victorian paper-cutting.

David Thorpe
Endeavours

2010

Wood, ceramic tiles, steel

309.2 x 262.3 x 120 cm

In the past Thorpe has made elaborate collaged paintings, but his more recent work explores the actualisation of pattern through unusual three-dimensional renderings that highlight the tension between exquisite decorativeness and the aura of DIY home-craft manuals.

David Thorpe
Private Lives

2010

Plaster, leather, light system, wood stand

107.3 x 106 x 106 cm, Wood stand: 70.5 x 93.3 x 93.3 cm

The works shown here all make reference to an interconnectedness between ideology and lifestyle. I Am Golden (2003) is a miniature temple-like structure that also doubles as a plant stand. Endeavours and Private Lives (both 2010) allude to the aesthetics and theories of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th century and the democratising art ideals of William Morris and John Ruskin. Thorpe’s large pattern-covered objects have been executed with the collaborative assistance of skilled artisans trained in recreating labour-intensive medieval recipes for making paint and ceramic moulds.

David Thorpe
We Never Sleep

1998

Paper Collage

90 x 176cm

The mesmerising repeated motifs of Endeavours are inspired by William Morris’s elaborate title page for John Ruskin’s famous essay ‘Nature of Gothic’, which defines the artist as ‘a Naturalist’ who seeks true beauty by illustrating nature and the human being ‘in its wholeness’.

David Thorpe
Covenant of the Elect

2002

Mixed Media Collag

63 x 111 cm

Labour in and of itself stands as the central, distilled idea behind Thorpe’s object, whose functionality is deliberately unclear. Private Lives, a plaster form resting on wooden legs, is similarly adorned with stylised leaves and vines made of carefully cut leather. Emanating from it is a light that imbues the sculpture with an almost devotional symbolic charge of self-sufficiency.

David Thorpe
Do What You Have To Do

1998

Paper Cut-Out

142 x 170cm
David Thorpe
Forever

1998

Paper Collage

36 x 145cm
David Thorpe
The Quiet Voice

2004

Mixed Media Collage

42 x 52cm
David Thorpe
Fragile Resistance

2004

Plaster and Leather

59 x 15cm
David Thorpe
I Am Golden

2002

Mixed Media Installation

Dimensions Variable

Articles

DAVID THORPE, ART IN AMERICA, FEBRUARY 2011


Matthew Israel reviews David Thorpe's solo show at Casey Kaplan, New York

Source: artinamericamagazine.com


DAVID THORPE AT ITERIM ART.


Mark Sladen talks to artist David Thorpe about his recent work Good People.

Good People can be seen in David Thorpe's current exhibition at Interim Art in Bethnal Green. Thorpe (b 1972, London) is part of the wave of artists who emerged directly after the YBAs. He was noticed for his collages of intricately cut paper, which were featured in exhibitions such as Die Young Stay Pretty (ICA, 1998). Thorpe's current show includes a number of pictures featuring quirky Modernist buildings in wilderness settings. These works mark a stylistic departure for the artist, who has odified his collage technique to include not just paper but a host of other materials.

Mark Sladen: How did you go about making Good People?

David Thorpe: There is a vast variety of materials in there, as I was trying to get a sense of equivalents to the actual materials used in the architecture depicted, almost like a miniature building. The building in the picture is made out of very thick veneers - also oxidised copper, pebbles, Playdo, a little bit of net curtain.

MS: What interests you about using materials that are like the things represented?

DT: I wanted to get more hard-core about building my own world. I've always been interested in creating my own world and it seems like common sense that if I'm constructing a tree I should do it in bark. You can also get different spatial levels, starting with tissue paper, using harder materials as you build it up; and usually the materials also get thicker so it's like this shallow relief. The technique also seems appropriate to the subject matter - these obsessive, hick communities. These pictures are images of things, but they could also potentially be manufactured within these worlds. They could be the types of images that would be seen inside these buildings. I'm always trying to find equivalences between the subject matter and the materials, and as in the last few years the subject matter has become more esoteric so the materials have become odder.

Source: kultureflash.net


DAVID THORPE MEYER RIEGGER, KARLSRUHE
By Catherine Wood

In a recent text David Thorpe described the artist's aim using an extended metaphor of military defence strategy. For this show, 'The Colonists', the gallery's clean white rooms were cut up by intersecting mahogany screens, inset with thickly textured glass, which stood guard across its shopfront windows, obscuring visibility from the street.

The protected world within this ornamental fortress - itself embedded in the Karlsruhe landscape, with its surrounding forest of dark fir spires - is, however, intricate and generous. The fine detail of Thorpe's exquisitely constructed universe intimates love rather than the dull, earnest labour of some handmade figuration. The thickened surface of his collages militates against the easy consumption offered by Pop cultural images.

In Thorpe's earlier land- and cityscapes human scale is dwarfed by vast environment, implying an exaggeratedly diminished viewpoint. His third exhibition at Maureen Paley Interim Art, London in 2002 introduced new dimensions of sculpture and text into the work, but the current show marks a significant step in the resolution of Thorpe's project: from gazing up towards a world to being inside it.

Source: frieze.co.uk