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"Bloodlines" James Aldridge first solo exhibition at Poppy Sebire
James Aldridge, Blessed Black Wings, 2011. Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 175 cm. Photo: Courtesy Poppy Sebire.
LONDON.- For his first solo exhibition with Poppy Sebire, James Aldridge presents a selection of large paintings, watercolours and sculptural work. With influences ranging from natural history to heavy metal, the artist continues to explore themes around knowledge, belief and good and evil.

Aldridge’s expansive canvases unite psychedelia with the arcane. In their animalistic imagery, dense compositions and heterogeneous painterly techniques, there is an explosion of the natural order, whilst the decorative runs amok. The new paintings bring three-dimensional elements to an otherwise graphic sensibility: illusionistic bird illustrations overlay intricate patterns of foliage and silhouetted beasts. The atmosphere can appear violent and disorderly, as in the bloodlike streams of red paint which drip from birds’ beaks. Imagery from Christian as well as esoteric and occult symbols draws attention to the function of symbolism and the role of superstition. These disparate elements and the interplay between depth and surface, symmetry and asymmetry forge a tension between the real and the fantastic; they invoke different modes of meaning. The paintings form their own language. In addition to natural history field guides, they reference black metal band logos; these are similarly complex, also featuring forms from the natural world. Like Aldridge’s paintings, they require invested looking and create their own rules of reading.

In Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison’s Objectivity, the authors explain how the scientific ideal of objectivity is a modern phenomenon, which supplanted previously privileged ways of knowing. Aldridge is interested in different paradigms of knowledge and their visual manifestations as means to belief. His watercolours reference historical conventions of ornithological imaging, whilst embellishing these with transgressive details and variations, as in his bird-head mandalas. These delicately rendered aberrant conglomerations suggest scientific discovery and classification, and their subversion.

Aldridge lives in the Swedish forest. His recent sculptural series employing birdhouses (‘holk’ in Swedish) reflects on the local ecology as well as the ironies of anthropomorphism. The battered old objects take on a talismanic quality in the gallery; engineered by humans and defaced by birds and the elements, they appear as both natural and cultural relics. Through various processes of destruction and restoration, the artist completes the Holk’s metamorphoses. He links these subversions to the nihilism of black metal: here different models of belief concerning the natural world and within musical subcultures merge. They reveal Aldridge’s ultimate concern for ‘a belief in images and how that shapes and reflects an understanding of environment and everything around us… and how subjective that can be’.

James Aldridge was born in the UK in 1971 and lives and works in Sweden. Recent solo exhibitions have included Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam (2010); Galería Casado Santapau, Madrid (2009); Suite Gallery, Wellington NZ (2009) and David Risley Gallery, London (2008). Group exhibitions include Apopcalypse Now, Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam (2011); Art Rotterdam (2011); The New Chapter, Poppy Sebire, London (2010); Second Biennial of The Canary Islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (2009); On that which remains, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden (2008); PLUS, Museum Wiesbaden (2007) and Papercut, Voges + Partner Gallery, Frankfurt (2006). In 2007 his painting Cold Mouth Prayer was commissioned for Tate Modern and he has work in several major private collections in the UK, Israel, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabi, Italy and the USA. Aldridge holds an MA from the Royal College of Art and in 1998 was awarded the Rome Scholarship in Fine Art.

James Aldridge | Poppy Sebire |




Last Week News

October 8, 2011

Mexican archaeologists find Aztec temple platform at Mexico City's Templo Mayor ruin

Christie's announces the auction of an exceptional selection of Pop Art masterpieces

"Modern Masters from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" opens at Reynolda House Museum

Degas Dancer estimated at US$25-35 million to lead Christie's Impressionist and Modern evening sale

"Beckmann & America" at the Stadel Museum highlights Max Beckmann's late works

New show at Ordovas Gallery in London examines artist Francis Bacon's debt to Rembrandt

La Dolce Vita: 1950-1960. Stars and Celebrities in the Italian Fifties at Eataly New York

Christie's New York announces sale of selected works from the Herbert Collection this November

Frans Hals Museum confronts contemporary arts with master paintings of the Golden Age

The Pace Gallery presents "pionier" exhibition by German artist Carsten Nicolai

Egyptian treasures from the Brooklyn Museum exhibition opens at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Major exhibition&event that recounts Arte Povera at the Maxxi Museum in Rome

The Whitney presents three Landscapes: A film installation by Roy Lichtenstein

Jury announced for United Kingdom's biggest painting prize

Schwarzenegger inaugurates his museum in Austria

Sotheby's HK autumn sales achieved over US$411 million, the second highest total ever

Miami Art Museum names Chief Financial Officer

International bidders drive Asian works of art auction past pre-sale estimate

Sam Jury is Perlmutter Award winner

October 7, 2011

iPad Launch in Beijing Quiet, Orderly

Most extensive exhibition of Frank Stella's work in the UK to date at Haunch of Venison

Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute acquire Ed Ruscha photographs and archive

Comprehensive retrospective of the leading figure of Soviet Socialist Realism at Fundacion Juan March

Prince William V of Orange Glass Goblet expected to sell for 150,000 at Bonhams     

Architect Frank Gehry reveals new details for Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial

Park Avenue Armory unveils design for multi-year project by Herzog and De Meuron

From Renaissance to Rodin: Celebrating the Tanenbaum Gift at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Midwest collectors drive sales of important Tiffany glass at Christie's New York in December

Sotheby's New York announces annual autumn sale of important Russian art in November

Shaped by War: Photographs by Don McCullin at the Imperial War Museum in London

More than a game of marbles as Greek and Roman sculpture makes top prices at Bonhams

"Surreal versus Surrealism" exhibition on view at the Valencian Institute of Modern Art

Strong attendance and solid results at Auctions America by RM's debut fall Carlisle sale

Sotheby's Contemporary Art/Arab & Iranian and Arts of the Islamic World sales total $16,843,460

"Hitler Killed the Duck" solo exhibition by British artist David Bailey at Scream Gallery

Booming Asian art market shows signs of stalling

Vermont tries to save historic buildings after Irene

Spokesman says Putin's dive treasure find was staged

Dive team retrieves old cannon from Detroit River

October 6, 2011

Anselm Kiefer: Selected Works from the Grothe Collection at the Museum Frieder Burda

The Whitney Museum of American Art presents David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy

A solo exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle highlights Icelandic artist Erro's work

The Ashmolean Museum opens Fall exhibition: Claude Lorrain: The Enchanted Landscape

Historic alliance opens door to Academy Museum at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

An outstanding blue and white vase sets a world record for any Ming porcelain at auction

South Indian Jewelery and Iznik outperform estimates at Bonhams Indian and Islamic sale

Grayson Perry: "The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman" at the British Museum

One of the most iconic post-modernist designs, Proust's Armchair, to sell at Bonhams

Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery opens with inaugural exhibition featuring work by James Turrell

Barbican Art Gallery transformed by a major exhibition on OMA: One of the most influential architectural practices

The golden age of Albanian photography and five other exhibitions at maison européenne de la photographie

Artistic Evolution: Southern California Artists at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 1945-1963

The BAT Artventure Collection Part III Realises $1,608,776

More iconic Marilyn Monroe costumes up for auction

Third Prix Pictet commission, a series of over 30 photographs by Chris Jordans, unveiled

Frank Lloyd Wright urn sells for record $772,000 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Artist that influenced Tim Burton John Atkinson Grimshaw at Richard Green

Hitler Jewish annihilation letter on display in Los Angeles

October 5, 2011

Tate Modern launches a major retrospective of German artist Gerhard Richter's work

"Picasso's Drawings, 1890-1921: Reinventing Tradition" traveling exhibition at The Frick Collection

Some 200 paintings and other works from the Steins' collection at Paris' Grand Palais

Toledo Museum of Art acquires stunning masterwork by Dutch artist Frans Hals

"Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence" opens at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Bonhams to sell stunning JMW Turner painting of Kirkby Lonsdale Churchyard

Exhibition of portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs

The Museo del Prado shows Goya's first documented painting for a period of six years

Walters Art Museum removes copyright restrictions on 10,000 images

Elvira Dyangani Ose appointed Curator of international art with a focus on Africa at Tate Modern

Ayyam Auctions announces sale of art and antiques of the Islamic world: The Ottoman Levant

Two Polish paintings by Julian Falat stolen and then seized in New York return to Poland

John Lennon letter on Maharishi to be auctioned at Nate D. Sanders' in Los Angeles

Byzantine and Christian Museum Athens-exhibition "Within/Without Borders"

Installation by conceptual artist Lee Mingwei on view at the Brooklyn Museum

The last bell from the Mauretania in private hands to be offered in Maritime sale

Sotheby's fine Chinese painting sale bucks rocky markets

The Art of Playboy, Gil Elvgren, Golden Age greats headline Fall New York illustration art auction

American painter Elihu Vedder's work from his journey up the Nile on view at the Hudson River Museum

Gregg Chadwick's Theater of Memory at the Monterey Peninsula College Art Gallery

October 4, 2011

Major retrospective of the work of Alighiero Boetti opens at Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid

Stunning painting by Mark Rothko on view at the Princeton University Art Museum

Photographer Harry Callahan centennial celebrated at the National Gallery of Art

German artist Gerhard Richter to illuminate Christie's Post-War & Contemporary art auction

Sales success at second Ullens Collection auction at Sotheby's in Hong Kong

Sotheby's to sell one of the most important works by Vilhelm Hammershoi to come to auction

Bonhams new "Period Art & Design" auction format set to launch in November

Exciting new exhibition: MarklinWorld, shows models of the world by 40 international artists

Christie's New York announces sale of over 150 fine musical instruments on October 14

Retrospective exhibition spanning 44 years of Niki de Saint Phalle's work at Nohra Haime Gallery

WOHA's The Met Building in Bangkok wins prestigious RIBA Lubetkin Prize 2011

Wendy Mark returns to watercolors and oils on paper in new exhibition at Jill Newhouse Gallery

National Maritime Museum reopens in Amsterdam after extensive renovation to building

Sotheby's Hong Kong Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian paintings sale achieves 10.6 million

DeCordova announces acquisition of Dan Graham's Crazy Spheroid – Two Entrances

Los Angeles puts "PST" time stamp on art world

Bush lauds construction of presidential library

Dr. Jack Kevorkian's art, belongings to be sold

Beatles photographer Robert Whitaker dies at 71

October 3, 2011

Jeu de Paume's touring exhibition of photographs by André Kertész opens in Budapest

Exhibition shows the backbone of Moderna Museet's Marcel Duchamp collection

For the first time in 30 years, Saint Louis Art Museum reunites Monet's Water Lilies

Tayler and Fletcher to offer to the market a previously unknown work by Anders Leonard Zorn

Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker at Howard Greenberg Gallery

Andy Warhol Museum opens exhibition by today's foremost comic book artist: Alex Ross

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Danh Vo shifts the focus of his artistic investigations to the concept of freedom at Kunsthalle Fridericianum

Stunning Portraits Reveal the Political Savvy of One of History's Most Powerful Women

John Singer Sargent's An Interior in Venice and Elizabeth Allen Marquand on view in Princeton

First major Ford Madox Brown exhibition since 1964 opens at Manchester Art Gallery

Los Angeles' latest art project is 340 tons, rock solid and costing $5 million to $10 million

The Hammer Museum presents "Now Dig This!" Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980

Architect Hadid's zig-zag school wins top UK prize

Sotheby's wine sale draws Asia buyers despite turmoil

Dreams for National Slavery Museum caught in bankruptcy

Exhibition of 19 intimate color photographs by Lori Grinker at Nailya Alexander Gallery

St. Patrick's School Library and Music Room in London wins the RIBA's 2011 Stephen Lawrence Prize

Legendary Audubon Paintings on Display at Daytona Beach Museum

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