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King's Cross unveils David Batchelor's Christmas Tree: King's Xmas, 2019
David Batchelor, King's Xmas Tree.

LONDON.- From a raving laser projection, to a speaking tree with a Geordie accent, to a soaring sledge sculpture, the King’s Cross Christmas tree is always a surprise with an air of the unexpected, and this year is no exception.

Providing people who visit King’s Cross, with a special experience during the holiday season, King’s Cross has commissioned artist David Batchelor to make the 2019 King’s Cross Christmas tree within the dramatic surrounds of Granary Square.

This year’s Christmas tree, King’s Xmas, 2019, is a celebration of Batchelor’s love of colour, industrial materials and geometry.

King’s Xmas, 2019, situated in King’s Cross’ Granary Square, is a striking take on the traditional Christmas tree. Using scaffolding and LED lights Batchelor has created a 13.5-metre-high tree that transforms itself from day to night. By day the scaffold structure is at home in its environment and surroundings, a reference to the on-going development at King’s Cross. By night the outline of a Christmas Tree is revealed, floating like a child’s drawing.

Batchelor, who’s works have included Chromolocomotion at St Pancras International and and 10 Silhouettes at Gloucester Road Tube station, is known for his work using light and colour drawing on the human experience of the modern urban environment.

Visitors to King’s Cross are able to view the tree in Granary Square from Thursday 14 November until Thursday 2 January.

The tree is curated by Rebecca Heald, curator of The King’s Cross Project, a series of commissions for the buildings and spaces of King’s Cross.

David Batchelor is an artist and writer based in London. He was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1955. He studied Fine Art at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham (1975-78), and Cultural Theory at Birmingham University (1978-80).

For over twenty five years Batchelor has been concerned with our experience of colour within the modern urban environment. His work comprises three-dimensional works, installations, drawing, painting, photographs and animations. He has exhibited widely in the UK, continental Europe, the Americas and, more recently, the Middle East and Asia. Batchelor has also written a number of books and essays on colour theory.

Recent exhibitions include My Own Private Bauhaus, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2019), Chromatology, Ab-Anbar Gallery, Tehran (2017); Monochrome Archive 19972015, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); Flatlands, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh and Spike Island, Bristol (2013-14); Light Show (2013-16), Hayward Gallery, London, MAC Sydney, Sharjah Art Foundation and MAC Santiago; Chromophilia: 1995-2010, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro (2010); Color Chart, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008) and Tate Liverpool (2009); Extreme Abstraction, Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York (2005); the Biennial de Santiago, Chile (2005); Shiny Dirty, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2004); the 26th Bienal De São Paulo (2004); Sodium and Asphalt, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2003); and Days Like These: Tate Britain Triennial of Contemporary Art, Tate Britain, London (2003).

Since the early 2000s Batchelor has received a number of commissions to make works in the public realm, some of which were temporary and some some permanent. These include: Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain (North West Cambridge Development, 2018), Homage to Dr. Mirabilis (Wesgate, Oxford, 2018), Chromorama, (Broadgate Estates, London, 2015), 19-20-21, (Lyric Theatre, London, 2014), Plato’s Disco (Whitworth Galleries, Manchester, 2014), Chromolocomotion (St Pancras International, London, 2014), Spectrum on the Hill (Hannan the Hill, Seoul), Spectrum of 1st. Street (NoMA, Washington DC), Hong Kong Fesdella (British Council, Hong Kong, 2010), Ten Silhouettes (Gloucester Road underground station, 2005), and Evergreen (More London, 2003).

Chromophobia, Batchelor’s book on colour and the fear of colour in the West, was published by Reaktion Books, London (2000), and is now available in ten languages. His more recent book, The Luminous and the Grey (2014), is also published by Reaktion. Colour (2008), an anthology of writings on colour from 1850 to the present, edited by Batchelor, is published by Whitechapel, London and MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. His book of photographs, Found Monochromes: vol.1, nos.1-250 (2010), is published by Ridinghouse, London; his suite of drawings, The October Colouring-In Book (2015), is published by Common-Editions, London.

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