press release

The Approach is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Martin Westwood.

A large sculpture consisting of multiple parts made from die-cut lithographs, free newspapers and shredded office stationary is distributed in clusters across the gallery space. Lithographic images of office workers heads appear isolated and caught in the material pulp of these components. The cylinders also resemble an extruded form, and are chopped at either end giving each component a fragmentary reference to a larger production process. The work is situated uncertainly in terms of its manufacture, appearing inconclusively between the result of an industrial and a handmade procedure. Also resembling logs forming the beginnings of a fire-stack, the piece reflects ideas of fuel, waste and latent stored potential. The scale of the work is beyond a small functional fire for cooking food for example, and is closer in scale to public display, implying notions of burning and expenditure that is non-utilitarian, symbolic and wasteful.

Westwood’s ‘Extrusion’ drawings are created by the graduated build-up of geometric contours made in biro. These lines are occasionally interrupted by failing or overflowing ink ‘mistakes’– signs of the wasteful disruption of the biro’s own process. Their progression and the occasional use of graph paper are reminiscent of collected statistical demographic information. The isolated figures that appear in the drawings reflect the sterile, abstract and alienated quality of information collected in this way. Objects that evoke nature in a dislodged and confused state also interrupt their geometry. They reflect superstitions (rabbit paws, charm bracelets), conditioned gender displays (false fingernails, shoulder pads, shaving-scabs) and values of ‘use’ and ‘exchange’ (oyster shells and pearl cufflinks).

Westwood often sources imagery from slick corporate brochures depicting idealized executives from the 1980s, combining them with references to nature. In these combinations, the collisions between personal freedom and nature with ordered, industrious human intentions and societal structure are emphasised and played out in the possibilities of their cross-readings.

Martin Westwood lives and works in London. Recent solo shows include The Approach (2007); ‘Art Statements’, Art 37 Basel (2006); ‘Art Now’, Tate Britain (2005); ‘Angelus Novus’, Collective Gallery Edinburgh (2004) and ‘Hard Pressed Flowers’, The Approach (2003). Recent group shows include ‘CUT’, The Approach (2005); ‘Reflections’, Artuaca Kunsterfgoed, Belgium (2004); ‘Concert in the Egg’, The Ship, London (2004) and ‘Dirty Pictures’, The Approach (2003).

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Martin Westwood
Silt Inter Lace