Joe Duggan At Swiss Cottage Gallery
Swiss Cottage Gallery and Camden Council proudly presents a solo exhibition of London based Irish artist Joe Duggan titled Material. Working in an interdisciplinary manner across sculpture, installation, video, photography and painting, this exhibition includes Duggan’s latest body of work focusing on his sculptural practice demonstrating a keen interest in exploring both metaphysical and material qualities. With an egalitarian approach to materials, Duggan combines recycled and reflective metals with reclaimed wood, cast concrete and moulded plaster to create sculptural constructions through assemblage and juxtaposition. The salvaging of materials, which are often re-appropriated from other artists’ studios, follows in a lineage of postmodernist or Arte povera approaches by reusing humble, everyday and throwaway materials.
The structures he has assembled come from multiple references: forms that we encounter through urban/rural architectures; figuration; troupes from arthistorical predecessors. These objects and their foundations become metaphors that reveal but also confound any sense of knowing or familiarity. There is a deliberate joyful ambiguity and elements of humour at play in how we may read the work or in its production. The materials employed may have waited in the artist’s studio or even have been discarded by another, to be juxtaposed and harmonised into new symbiotic relationships that resist categorisation.
In this body of work, Duggan questions the roles of the maker and consumer, challenging capitalist value systems, definitions of culture and artists’ defined roles in society. The works in this exhibition are also concerned with perceptions of progress both socially and individually represented by advancements in the built environment design and nods to architectural typologies and approaches. The exhibition is presented within the modernist architecture of The Swiss Cottage Library, originally built as a civic complex, brings new readings to the works, and the sculptures’ references to modernism, urban environments, architectural forms, and ideas of civil values. The exhibition is curated by Séamus McCormack
Joe Duggan (b1973) Ireland studied at Royal College of Art in London where he graduated with an Masters in Fine Art Photography. His work has been exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Museum of Photography, Antwerp, Limerick City Art Gallery, Extraspazio Gallery, Rome, MOCA, Washington D.C., Centre de Photographie, Toulouse, France, and the Government art Collection, UK. Duggan’s work has been published and reviewed in periodicals including The Irish Times, Berliner Morgenposten, i-D, Source Magazine, Dazed, The Arts News Paper, ArtReview, Timeout, Wonderland, Magill and The Royal Academy Magazine. He is a recipient of awards from The Arts Council of England, Culture Ireland, The Irish Arts Council, Limerick City Council, and The British Council. He lives and works in London. joeduggan.co.uk
Séamus McCormack has developed curatorial projects both in Ireland and the UK including at Luan Gallery, Athlone; ArtBox, Dublin; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Bomb Factory, London; Lewisham Arthouse London. Upcoming projects at The LAB, Dublin; Lismore Castle Arts and Commonage, London. He is Programme Curator, New Contemporaries and was previously Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. He has been a visiting tutor at Slade UCL, Oxford Brookes and Leeds Beckett University, and led educational projects at RHA, Dublin, South London Gallery and Leeds Art Gallery. seamusmccormack.com
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