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Current Exhibitions - Alsopp Contemporary Art Ltd

Allsopp Contemporary’s forthcoming exhibition is for French artist Nicolas Pol (b. 1977). This will be his second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Pol’s work, which encompasses painting, print-making, sculpture and installation, introduces the spectator to a world of medieval practices, futuristic inventions and make-believe characters. This is fantastical reality represented through logos, advertisements, products and slogans. His paintings are highly worked and often belie a darker, un-savoury narrative of sin, temptation and death. In his sculptures and his screen prints, Pol inundates us with diagrams, scientific explanation and apocalyptic predictions. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a life-size sculpture of a figure trapped in a seventeenth century wooden torture device. Printed on to the device are illustrations of sins and temptations; the figure is both prisoner and victim, an embodiment of our narcissistic aspirations and selfish excesses. Surrounding him are piles of immaculately printed boxes. These contain products of the Paizer Corps – a futuristic, authoritarian organization that controls all aspects of human-life in the future: scientific discovery, weapon production and information dissemination. The figure is both trapped within and consumed by this seductive world of inventions, promises and lies.

A new body of paintings will expand upon the themes within the installation. Pol employs all forms of paint application and effect - from the mechanical to the gestural, the accidental to the contrived, often highly worked, these combine screen-printing with oil, spray paint and dripping glycerol. Within the canvases we see scenes of torture and tragedy. Depictions of death and violence explode out of the picture plane, off-setting sections of diagrammatic prints or stencilled slogans.

In the Project Room, there will be a will be a series of new etchings and mono-prints. Here we can see Pol’s skill with dry-point techniques; the etchings appear as sub-conscious scrawls within his dark underworld. The prints give a fascinating insight into the preparatory stage for this artist’s work, showing how elements and motifs are picked up and carried forward to the larger canvases or sculptural works.

Nicolas Pol (b.1977) graduated from the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris in 2004. His first solo exhibition Life Goes on If You’re Lucky was with Alsopp Contemporary in 2005. He was also included in the gallery’s 2006 group show PARISITES: Julien Berthier, Lili phung, Nicolas Pol. He lives and works in Paris.

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