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Roland Hick's lates works on view at Eleven in London
Roland Hicks, Swinhanlon, 2012. Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 in / 102 x 102 cm. Photo: Courtesy of Eleven, London.

LONDON.- Eleven presents Roland Hicks’ latest works in The Gathering Things. Hicks’ new works are an amalgamation of paintings, sculpture and trompe l’oeil reliefs. Blurring the boundaries between the different mediums, his works examine items of stationery turned into spontaneous sculptures, evidence of a minimal creative gesture. These intuitive creative acts, hastily assembled, are slowly and painstakingly recreated under Hicks’ hand, amplifying even the smallest of gestures and making us reconsider the mundane material which surrounds us.

The Gathering Things refers primarily to the collecting function of many of the objects themselves, like rubber bands to bind items together or paper clips to keep sheets in place, while also acting as a metaphor for a moment of insight. In many ways it describes the almost magnetic force in which these objects coalesce in Hicks’ work.

His works possess an inherent sense of absurdity as to why someone would assemble such compositions and it continues to question the point at which something becomes art. Hicks playfully distorts where his creative process begins and ends; whether it is through the original assemblage, the painting process or the hand sculpted re-creation. Variations in scale add to the confusion whether some parts of the works are formed by the industrially manufactured materials or by Hicks’ hyperrealist sensitivity.

Despite the contemporary nature of the items which he depicts, his work resonates with art historical references. The paintings The Peripheral Heart (2012) and Swinhanlon (2012) recall Juan Sanchez Cotan’s baroque still lifes or ‘bodegones’ as Hicks’ clusters are suspended starkly against the picture plane and each component’s detail is heavily considered. The cork pin board, as in Memo (2013) acts as a stage for objects to congregate and nods to the typical subject matter of 17th century Dutch still life and trompe l’oeil artists including Cornelius Giijsbrechts and Samuel van Hoogstraten.

On first blush appearing real, it isn’t until the viewer subjects each work to near forensic scrutiny that a sense of wonderment begins to unfold where thumb tacks and tape reveal their true matter of polymer clay or modeling paste. Concerned with both the beautiful and banal, his works are infused with dualities; they are earnest yet playful, abstract and at once figurative, simulated and authentic.

Roland Hicks was born in 1967 and lives and works in London. His solo shows include I Just Can’t Stop It, Eleven, London (2009), Give Me Every Little Thing (2007) which toured from Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown to Ffotogallery, Cardiff. Past group shows include The This and The That with Justin Allen, Eleven, London (2010), and John Moores 25 (2008/9), Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. His work is featured in the collections of Land Securities, Saatchi Gallery, Hiscox, The Fleming Collection, Oxford University Art Collection and Unilever Art Collection.

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