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Walk on the Wild Side: David Spiller debuts at the Portland Gallery
David Spiller, Let's take a walk on the wild side, 2013. 148 x 148 cm. Photo: Courtesy Portland Gallery.

LONDON.- David Spiller's first solo exhibition with Portland Gallery will run from 26 September – 18 October 2013 at 8 Bennet Street, London SW1A 1RP. The exhibition will focus on demonstrating the British artist’s pioneering use of text, showing earlier pieces dating back to 1963 including ‘I can't give you anything but love and murder baby’, as well as new works from 2013 including ‘You must be an angel’.

Spiller’s work can be closely aligned with Pop Expressionism; many of his painting’s titles derive from pop lyrics and cartoon’s including Popeye, Felix and iconic Disney characters from the 60’s. However, Spillers artistic style is unique, as he often stitches panels together to create canvases and tends to work on the ground, similar to Jackson Pollock. Spiller’s use of colour, patchwork, drip painting and stencilled text, as well as scribbled and scratched freestyle writing and drawing, distinguishes him amongst all other artists. Spiller has always used text in his work. Spiller went onto develop his use of text and took to using stencils after living in New York in the late 80’s. He still uses many of the original fonts in his work today and one of his first stencil pieces was ‘Take my hand and dry your Tears’, which will be for sale at the exhibition.

Spiller’s use of text, line and form has always been his recognisable, signature style. His art is filled with life and passion, and compresses a world of influences, ideas and impressions. His first teacher was Frank Auerbach, but other influences include Van Gogh, Picasso, Rauschenberg and Dubuffet. Spiller’s work is a blend of styles, mixing the hard-hitting immediacy of Pop Art - its bright colours, punchy texts and clean lines - with deceptively simple expressionism. To his striking images, he has added another layer of intuitive freehand texts that include lines from his favourite songs (by the Beatles, Bob Dylan and other recognisable pop figures that have seeped into his consciousness). He fuses cartoon characters that we know and love with elements of autobiography, songs, stories and memories, capturing the imagination of adults and children alike.

The exhibition will highlight the inescapable influence that typography and stencilled lettering have had on Spiller’s oeuvre. Prices will range from £5,000 to £25,000 and most works will be for sale.

Tom Hewlett, Portland Gallery’s owner says: “This exhibition comes at an interesting time, following as it does the Lichtenstein exhibition at the Tate and record prices for American Pop artists being achieved at auction. Spiller can be thought amongst the talented American artists whose works are highly sought after. And the possibility to buy a piece of original British art from a living artist, clearly influenced by the modern masters, is an opportunity not to miss.”

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