SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Fifty24SF Gallery
presents Over Normal- a solo exhibition by Stanley Donwood and his first ever showing in the United States.
When thinking of iconic imagery in music from the last 20 years, Stanley Donwoods work with Radiohead invariably comes to mind - and for good reason. Where Radioheads music stretched the auditory horizons and painted musical sceneries of mans place in the modern world, Donwoods imagery and packaging forced us to face the gravity of the music from the minute the album hit our hands; and by creating cryptic, academic and (at times) dystopian layouts, the albums themselves became as striking and relevant as the music they contained.
Although Stanley Donwood generally avoids the grandeur of media and would prefer to be undersold, to speak only in terms of his work with Radiohead would be a disservice. From his exhibitions of intricate etchings at Lazarides Gallery in London, to the vibrant works that made up his show at Iguapop Gallery in Barcelona, Donwoods gallery work has consistently mixed personal and political emotions with modesty and humor.
For Over Normal, the catalyst for the large works featured in the show is in Los Angeles, where Stanley began to notice (with equal parts amazement and distress) that the advertisements bombarding him on the multilane highways were made of seven basic colors, immediately grabbing viewers attention in a primal way. More recently, Stanley noticed a parallel between the use of those colors and an influx of spam emails that promised everything from more fruitful sex lives, to cheap foreclosed properties at the expense of someone elses misery. The words that were used in the emails were formatted in the same fundamental way as color in the advertisements had been used: to grab unconscious attention and tell a story without the viewer knowing it. Marrying the immediate words used in these emails with the attractive and distressing colors of the advertisements, Stanley has produced a line of seven vibrant, original pieces for this exhibition.
Stanley has also produced a 12 page newspaper to accompany the show, this explains how he came about putting together a neuron firing sound installation in an artificial neural network which is also featured in the show and is entitled 'The Overnormaliser'.
Over Normal will run from September 2nd October 27th with an opening reception occurring on September 2nd from 7:30PM 10:00PM at FIFTY24SF Gallery