•  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
30th anniversary
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Current Exhibition

Nicholas Byrne EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

Untitled (Collar)
Nicholas Byrne
Untitled (Collar)

2007

oil on linen on board on wooden supports

50.5 x 35.5 cm
“When I was making this Untitled series I was sharing a studio with four artists who were making installation set-plays and film and this informed my approach to these works,” Nicholas Byrne explains. “It was important to me that the paintings evoked a visual response that was similar to how we appreciate the physical sensation of an object. Untitled (Collar) is small scale and conveys a kind of privacy. You might think of a surrealist tradition of game-play, where bodies cross into objects. I suppose these diamond shapes could be the teeth of a stylus or comb. A feeling of tension might arise, where optically the shapes and colours would promise to fold or collapse. The paintings are presented on architectural supports as I wanted them to demonstrate something physically active.”
Hosier
Nicholas Byrne
Hosier

2010

Oil on linen

140 x 70 cm
“Drawing is the basis of my work, though I don’t often have one image that I refer to in making something. Each painting is a different thing where an interior develops. I have an aesthetic idea or sensation of what this is, but it’s intuitively led. With Hosier and Cropper I wanted to make illustrations of the ’sinuous line’ which is a constituent element of the Rococo period. I’d read a passage in Jean Starobinski’s The Invention of Liberty that takes a picture of William Hogarth writing on sinuosity, about ’leading the eye in a kind of chase’. From tending to limit himself to writing about the ’pure geometry of the spiral’ Hogarth goes on to confess an erotic origin to his taste for the sinuous line: a childhood memory of a dancer with ’a ribbon entwined around a staff.’ It’s interesting how his desire could be felt in particular distances.”
Cropper
Nicholas Byrne
Cropper

2010

Oil on linen

140 x 70 cm
“I wanted to give various bodies to the template of the flame or tear-drop. The figure in Cropper has quite a flat shape like a paddle. It’s held in position by bright colour, acting like an outfit or veil with a grip on the figure. When you come to it on the first reading, perhaps the figure is recognisable like an icon, refined and solid like a letter of the alphabet. But on second reading, the forms might seem to come apart or be resistant. I score into the paint which can show the history of how the painting comes together and in Cropper this has the loose impression of fabric un-peeling. There is a map-like quality of a template or diagram. I made the paintings using sign writer’s brushes, so the image is threaded together and in this way it can also unravel.”
Accent Support
Nicholas Byrne
Accent Support

2010

Oil on plexiglass

110 x 60 cms
“Thinking about the metals in the oil paint I was using led me to make a number of paintings on copper. Accent Support, a work on Plexiglass, is something different but follows on from this. To look at an image drawn on a transparent support you might become aware that the painting has two sides. Sometimes through the glass, you can see the backside of smeared paint, with the rear-end of the painting coming into play, acting together with what is drawn on the front, both sides adding up in drawing a figure. The material ground of a painting matters to me. I use supports to enjoy aspects of their character. The character of Plexiglass is softer than the brittle tension in normal glass and this helps to determine how the marks of the figure are drawn on.”
Untitled (Boy)
Nicholas Byrne
Untitled (Boy)

2007

oil on linen on board on wooden supports

173.5 x 57 cm
“The paintings are loaded like ‘portraits’. They’re hung at head height and address people on this level, but for my part, I mean to keep an active subjectivity from one work to the next. In these small works I wanted to say something simple and balanced like ‘think of a head’. But the idea of a ‘head’ could be anything: be a collar, or arches, or a flower. Each time I tried to put this into a particular kind of physical negotiation. Untitled (Boy) is held in the frame by an arch of stiletto shapes. They are painted on thin supports, quite flimsy and highly-strung. They are intentionally made to seem insubstantial, perhaps not totally solid or stable. When I originally showed these works, the series was suspended on wooden supports in a concertina running through the gallery. Untitled (Boy) was the most complete image – a final figure in a melodramatic parade.”






Other artists in
NEWSPEAK: BRITISH ART NOW

Caroline Achaintre    Tasha Amini    Hurvin Anderson    Maurizio Anzeri    Jonathan Baldock    Anna Barriball    Steve Bishop    Karla Black    Lynette Yiadom Boakye    Pablo Bronstein    Alan Brooks    Peter Linde Busk    Carla Busuttil    Nicholas Byrne    Gareth Cadwallader    Juliana Cerqueira Leite    Spartacus Chetwynd    Steven Claydon    Clarisse d'Arcimoles    William Daniels    Matthew Darbyshire    Graham Durward    Tim Ellis    Tom Ellis    Richard Evans    Tessa Farmer    Marcus Foster    Robert Fry    Ximena Garrido-Lecca    Jaime Gili    Nick Goss    Luke Gottelier    Kate Groobey    Anthea Hamilton    Anne Hardy    Gabriel Hartley    Nicholas Hatfull    Iain Hetherington    Alexander Hoda    Sigrid Holmwood    Systems House    James Howard    Graham Hudson    Dean Hughes    Des Hughes    Mustafa Hulusi    Paul Johnson    Edward Kay    Idris Khan    Scott King    Ansel Krut     littlewhitehead    Alastair MacKinven    Goshka Macuga    Ryan Mosley    Rupert Norfolk    Arif Ozakca    Mark Pearson    Dan Perfect    Peter Peri    Olivia Plender    Henrijs Preiss    Ged Quinn    Clunie Reid    Barry Reigate    Luke Rudolf    Maaike Schoorel    Daniel Silver    David Brian Smith    Renee So    Fergal Stapleton    Clare Stephenson    Caragh Thuring    Phoebe Unwin    Donald Urquhart    Jonathan Wateridge    John Wynne    Toby Ziegler

Nicholas Byrne's BIOGRAPHY

Nicholas Byrne
1979
Born Oldham

Lives and works in London


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS


2010
ArtBasel Miami Beach (with Charles Atlas)
Novel, Dependance, Brussels
Exquisite Corpse Drawing Project (to benefit the Armitage Gone Dance Company) Gasser & Grunert Gallery, New York
The Island, Radio IPS, International Project Space, Bournville
The Long Dark, Kettles Yard Gallery, Cambridge (curated by Michelle Cotton)
Sculpture Project, Peckham Rye Multi-storey Car Park, London
The Dark Monarch, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne
Owl Stretching Time, Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin
A Catholic Episode, Vilma Gold, London (Solo)

2009
The Dark Monarch, Tate Gallery, St Ives
Calypsos (with Anthea Hamilton) Studio Voltaire off-site project, Zoo Art Fair, London
Telephone Paintings and Other Works, Transboavista, Lisbon
Galerie Margaret Biedermann, Munich (curated by Thomas Kratz and Daniela Stoppel)
The Long Dark, International 3 Gallery, Manchester, The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
O / A Stiff Bandeau, Tricycle, London

2008
Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
Past Forward, 176, London
Divider, Studio Voltaire, London (Solo)

2007
Vilma Gold, London
Marc Foxx, Los Angeles

2006
the air line, The Reliance, London
Toutes Composition Florales, Counter Gallery, London