Selected works by David Batchelor

David Batchelor
Brick Lane Remix I


Shelving Units, found light boxes, fluorescent light, vinyl, acrylic sheet, cable, plugboards

204 x 435 x 38 cm
David Batchelor makes sculptural installations from objects found in the streets of London, hollowed, stacked and given a new life as empty but brightly coloured light boxes or as unlit composites. Consistent throughout his works is the lurking familiarity of the material leftovers of modern life, from factory scrap to disused or broken domestic items, re-purposed into hypnotic, beautifully patterned objects presenting a distillation of colour’s presence in our everyday environment.
David Batchelor
Parapillar 7 (Multicolour)


Steel support with plastic, metal, rubber, painted wood and feather objects

267 x 78 x 78 cm
“When I make works from light boxes (such as Brick Lane Remix, 2003), or old plastic bottles with lights inside, I hope the illumination suspends their objecthood to some degree and makes the viewer see them a little differently – see them as colours before seeing them as objects.” The brightest possible palette fills the range of neon-lit columns, modular crates, spherical shapes, and unlit clusters (such as Parapillar, 2006), the artist’s “vehicles for colour.”

Batchelor is interested in reconsidering colour theories from a contemporary context, which he explores in Chromophobia (2000), a book dedicated to the subject. His dazzlingly saturated objects reconsider the tension between form and the very materiality of colour, perhaps with a wink to earlier forms of light and neon art. “I often use colour to attack form, to break it down a little or begin to dissolve it. But I am not at all interested in ‘pure’ colour or in colour as a transcendental presence… So if I use colours to begin to dissolve forms, I also use forms to prevent colours becoming entirely detached from their everyday existence.”

Other Resources
Additional Information on David Batchelor
Modern and contemporary artists and art; David Batchelor
David's studio-based and theoretical work is mainly concerned with transformations in the experience of colour that have occurred with the development of new materials, and with their application in contemporary art. His three-dimensional works mostly combine brilliant colours (using fluorescent light, neon, plastics, etc) with a range of found light-industrial materials (steel shelving, commercial lightboxes, warehouse dollies, etc). He also produces drawings, and photographic series, and has made a number of large-scale works for public spaces. - The Horrible Hues by Joe Fyfe
In David Batchelor's rented garage in north London, one wall is filled with his photographs of signs and billboards that have been painted or papered over with a single color. He calls them "found monochromes."
Arrayed on the studio floor are his sculptures, witty "color wagons" made from iron shipping trolleys that he has found on the street. They are also monochromes, fitted with brilliantly colored plastic sheets -- vibrant limes, burgundies and ultramarines. - David Batchelor at Anthony Wilkinson by Alex Coles
The blast of color coming from the column of 30-odd monochrome light boxes was unremitting. Viewed from any of the exhibition space's three floors (the column rose in a gap between the end of the flooring and an interior wall), David Batchelor's 33-foot-high Electric Colour Tower bathed the gallery in a pool of glowing light. Lest the work appear Minimalist, dozens of electric cables were left hanging down, each one buzzing as it imported electricity to its respective light box. These wires, along with the distressed look of the found boxes, gave the work its funk. - David Batchelor: ikon gallery By Caoimbin Mac Giolla Leith
The title of David Batchelor's first major solo show at a public institution, "Shiny-Dirty," neatly encapsulated the beat-up brilliance of his trademark stacks of reconditioned light boxes and fleets of low-slung, four-wheeled monochromes. Expanding on this title, the artist's description of his work in a catalogue interview as "dirty readymades for shiny monochromes" signaled a conscious engagement with two of twentieth-century art's most significant forms. - David Batchelor exhibition - TEN SILHOUETTES
Platform for Art is delighted to present an exhibition of new work by David Batchelor made especially for Gloucester Road Tube station. The exhibition continues the programme’s commitment to showing significant work by mid-career artists. - David Batchelor Shiny Dirty
This exhibition conveyed Batchelor’s preoccupation with colour, through various kinds of structures, often assemblages of second-hand objects. Those involving light boxes explicitly referred to illuminated signs, the shapes and colours of a metropolitan environment. They embodied an essentially abstract phenomenon but a closer look revealed their nuts and bolts, wiring and other means of construction, and thus the artist’s pragmatism. - 'Ten Silhouettes' David Batchelor
David Gleeson
Whenever I have seen work by artists like Cindy Sherman, Paola Pivi and Samuel Fosso displayed in Gloucester Road tube station, I've always wondered if commuters passing through actually differentiate between these images and the adverts that cover the passageways, ticket halls, platforms and trains around them.
Which is why the current installation by David Batchelor is possibly the best thing Platform for Art have placed in this venue.
'Ten Silhouettes' is sufficiently different from the surrounding visual white noise to be – surprise! - unexpectedly soothing.