In his first exhibition at the gallery British artist Robin Footitt examines what is lost in the connection between working with our hands and how we now operate technology.
ROBIN FOOTITT: CLUTCH // AGARRAR
June 26 - September 7, 2019
Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporanea, Lisbon
Communicating in a visual language through disparate materials including drawing, print and collage, Footitt takes a thought or larger idea and deconstructs its meaning by stretching and testing its boundaries. CLUTCH typifies this practice and highlights the need to create in addition to the gentle touch of a digital screen or contactless transaction by grasping at something tangible beyond.
The principle works feature images superimposed on synthetic textiles. Building a narrative around the construction of virtual space, Footitt employs a multiple “image search” contextual premise that fluctuates from French Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte’s ‘Les raboteurs de parquet’ which reveals the act of painting by showing the bare canvas beneath the floorboards being scraped. Presented alongside a rendition of the painting is a remixed study of the balcony iron fretwork endlessly repeated in the Portuguese azulejo tile tradition as well as two additional examples from Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon. The Lycra patterns were obtained by replicating the magnified red, green and blue pixels present on various display phone, tablet and monitor screens in cut paper collage, the nine original designs shown here for the first time.
This sense of a shifting composition is also present in the 2016 series of three screenprints (LIKE, SHARE, COMMENT) which fracture the shape of language and recomposit their elements into the dimensions of a social media profile image depicted in Facebook Blue. The visual language of social media reoccurs in a series of hand studies with “blur effect” spray painted edges commonly used to square an image on Instagram. These drawings mimic the pointed finger cursor icon often used as alternative to the arrow in modern computing.
Robin Footitt (b. 1982) studied at Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art, London. Footitt lives and works in Bow, East London and is a former resident of Acme Studios’ Fire Station Residency, Bromley-by-Bow, London (2010 – 2015), The Florence Trust, London (2009) and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2008). Recent exhibitions include Open Window (2018) and Modern Grammar (2016) New Art Projects, London; What Cannot Be Contained, Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (2015); The Trouble With Painting Today, Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London (2014); Closed Circuit Saga, Edel Assanti, London (2014); A Town Without Pity, 4 Windmill Street, London (2013).