Fruitmarket Gallery announces David Batchelor: Flatlands

Fruitmarket Gallery presents David Batchelor: Flatlands on 4 May–14 July 2013.

David Batchelor (b. 1955, Dundee) is best known for his vividly coloured sculptural installations of illuminated lightboxes, industrial dollies, and other found objects. These three-dimensional works perhaps belie the fact that the root of his interest is and always has been in drawing, painting, abstraction and the monochrome—preoccupations that are best charted in his immensely varied two-dimensional work. This exhibition is the first in-depth presentation of David Batchelor’s drawings and paintings.

Having originally studied painting, Batchelor has, over the last twenty years, made colour his leitmotif. Not the colour found in nature, but the synthetic colour of the illuminated street sign and lurid glare of the nocturnal metropolis. Whether using conventional materials such as pencil, ink, pastel, gouache and acrylic, or highlighter pen, spray or gloss paint and industrial tape; whether making drawings or paintings intended to be simply drawings or paintings or making carefully plotted diagrams of or proposals for sculpture, Batchelor’s two-dimensional works show how formal rigour and a modernist aesthetic can be subverted by the deployment of intense, exuberant colour.

This exhibition represents a first-considered attempt to analyse Batchelor’s graphic register by critically reflecting on his use of surface, painting, drawing, and colour. It will present work created over the last two decades, including drawings, paintings, proposals, diagrams and preparatory drawings for sculpture.

The exhibition is curated by Andrea Schlieker, who worked with Batchelor as Director of the Folkestone Triennial in 2008, and will be accompanied by a catalogue with an interview with the artist conducted by Schlieker, and new writing by Fiona Bradley, Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery and internationally renowned writer and curator Rudi Fuchs.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Spike Island, Bristol, where it will be presented in November 2013.

New edition: Atomic Orange, 2013, 30 x 21 cm
Screenprint in an edition of 100, signed and numbered by the artist.
For more information, email [email protected]
This new screenprint has been generously created by David Batchelor specially for this exhibition. All proceeds fromsales will directly benefit The Fruitmarket Gallery and Spike Island, Bristol.

New publication David Batchelor: Flatlands
A new publication will accompany the exhibition. Published by The Fruitmarket Gallery, it is fully illustrated with images of the paintings and drawings in the exhibition—reproduced here for the first time—and features newly commissioned texts by Fiona Bradley, Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery, and Rudi Fuchs, writer, curator and previously the longstanding Director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, as well as a conversation between the artist and the curator of the exhibition, Andrea Schlieker, which took place over the planning of the show.

Artist’s talk
Wednesday 8 May, 6:30pm, free
David Batchelor in conversation with exhibition curator Andrea Schlieker

Panel discussion
‘Imagining things that cannot exist: David Batchelor’s Drawings’
Wednesday 22 May 6–7:30pm
Refreshments available from 5:30pm
Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery Fiona Bradley, Professor Briony Fer (University College London), and Professor Anne Wagner (University of California, Berkeley) consider ideas explored in this exhibition of drawings by an artist primarily known for his sculpture.

To book contact the bookshop at [email protected] or T 44 (0)13 226 8181.

The Fruitmarket Gallery
45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11am–6pm,
Sunday noon–5pm
Always free