P.V: 16 November 2017 (6 - 9pm) 17 November 2017 – 12 January 2018
Mrs Rick’s Cupboard is pleased to invite you to our next exhibition, ’Hogwash’ by the Berlin based British artist, Paul McDevitt.
‘There is a postbox directly outside my Berlin studio. It has two slots; one says Berlin Postcodes, and the second states Other Destinations. Beneath the latter some wag has printed (in the exact same typeface) Stuttgart, Ulm und Biberbach. These are all cities in the administrative region of Swabia, in southwest Bavaria. It’s a joke, and comment, on the fact that large parts of Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg are being bought up by the traditionally rich and conservative Germans from that area, resulting in rapid gentrification and rising rents. I keep quiet. I’m gentrifying it as much as anyone.
Hogwash is a series of paintings made on envelopes and mailed directly to Mrs Rick’s Cupboard from that postbox. The envelopes are in two sizes; one to house A4 documents, and the other for A5. I love the DIN system, and much of my career has been spent making images in those two formats. Before I painted on the envelopes I silkscreened an image on to them in black acrylic. There are two motifs, one for each size, both depicting a column of balancing stones. You know the kind of image – you see it all the time in yoga centres, on wellness flyers, lifestyle adverts. It doesn’t really mean anything at all, except to suggest a notion of equilibrium. It’s a motif that is increasingly prevalent in this part of town. With gentrification comes a wave of businesses trying to capitalise on the new wealthy residents; appealing to their aspirations and their free time. Now the neighbourhood has half a dozen healing-crystal shops, a shop selling Quantum Water Filters, and fitness centres for people who don’t like exercise, which promise the benefits of a 60-minute workout in just ten casual minutes wired up to a machine. The local doctor and chemist both prescribe homeopathic remedies.
All of this is the antithesis of the Deutsche Industrie-Norm. But amidst it all I still get flyers for cheap pizza and falafel takeaways, and my local bar is an anarchist collective that sells pints for €2. It’s an interesting time to be here. I enjoy the contrasts.
I started with the printed stones, and painted whatever came to mind on them. Often these are informed by the junk mail and flyers lying around the studio. I liked the idea of disseminating these the same way by mailing them straight to Nottingham. There’s a risk that some don’t turn up, but more likely they arrive improved – marked by postal franks, creases, sorting office scribbles’.
Paul McDevitt is an artist who lives and works in Berlin. He also runs the project space Farbvision, co-runs the record and book label Infinite Greyscale (with Cornelius Quabeck), and curates occasional exhibitions (with Declan Clarke) as Clarke and McDevitt. Selected solo exhibitions include; SMAC, Berlin; Martin Asbæk Gallery, Copenhagen; Dolph, London (2017); House of St Barnabas, London (2016); Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Art, UK (2015); Martin Asbæk Gallery, Copenhagen; Kunstverein Düsseldorf Schaufenster (as Infinite Greyscale Records) (2014); Espacio Valverde, Madrid; Sommer & Kohl, Berlin (2013). Recent group exhibitions include; Costermongering Belmacz, London (2016); Ouvrez l'œil, Le Bel Ordinaire, Pau, France (2015); Associations – New, SALTS, Basel; Just Add Water, CCA Andratx, Mallorca; Body and Void, Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, UK and Study from the Human Body, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (2014).
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