28/05/2011 — 23/07/2011
featuring Mike Pratt and Leo Fitzmaurice
Nice Paintings brings together work by emerging Newcastle based artist Mike Pratt and paintings from Grundy’s own collection, an element of which has been selected by Liverpool based artist Leo Fitzmaurice into an arrangement entitled Horizon.
This is the first of two exhibitions in 2011 to celebrate the gallery’s centenary and includes a selection of paintings from its collection, hung alongside Mike Pratt’s large abstract canvases.
The exhibition includes several new works by Pratt, including a large sculptural work for the gallery’s entrance space. Pratt’s work indulges in the physical process of painting, combined with a direct examination of the cycle of assimilation that exists both within contemporary art and popular culture, as he borrows and ‘wrongfully’ appropriates from the artists who shaped the process before him. Through this method of sampling and remastering, Pratt combines stylistic quotation with deadpan observation and dumb mark-making, layering and obliterating his paintings until they are deemed at an end yet never resolved.
Leo Fitzmaurice has selected paintings from Grundy’s collection that contain a strong horizon line, which he has arranged at varying heights to create a continuous horizon line across the gallery wall. Hung frame to frame and regardless of genre, period, artist reputation or quality, Horizon has been described by the artist as ‘rough-shod-riding’ across the collection, as it explores the pictorial construction of a collective mass of work, rather than a conventional analysis of its position within the history of art.
The exhibition is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England