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20 Mar 2008

Enrico David at Talbot Rice Gallery

Enrico David
Bubble Protest
Collection Thea Westreich and Ethan Wagner

Enrico David: Ultra Paste


22 March - 10 May 2008
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm

+44 (0)131 650 2210
+44 (0)131 650 2213

The University of Edinburgh
Old College, South Bridge
Edinburgh EH8 9YL

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Enrico David: Ultra Paste

22 March - 10 May 2008

Talbot Rice Gallery is pleased to present Ultra Paste, a major solo exhibition by Italian born artist Enrico David.

Enrico David first came to attention in 1999 with a series of large scale, embroidered canvases, one of which was exhibited as part of the group show Girlpower & Boyhood at Talbot Rice Gallery in 2006. David’s practice has since further diversified with a sculptural element becoming an important part of his work. Always using drawing as a backbone but also borrowing from traditional craft techniques and stylistic design, he employs these with mischief, playfulness, and a certain knowing crudeness; setting before us a cast of characters in theatrical situations and mock stage sets.

This exhibition demonstrates the breadth of David’s imagination and output, but also his influences. Gouaches, photography and large canvases sit alongside sculpture of varying scale, with clear links to a strong Italian design tradition which is in itself uncompromising and bold.

Central to the exhibition is the work that bears its title. Ultra Paste (2007) is a re-imagined facsimile of the artist’s childhood bedroom. Taking his inspiration from a 1935 photo-collage by artist Dora Maar, we see a teenage Enrico engaged in a perverse embrace with a generic anatomical mannequin. Encountering this work through a roped off doorway, we are forced into the position of voyeur. The work has links with another smaller piece, Sweet Seizure (2002) in recalling the Victorian phenomena of the shadow cabinet (often made as a memorial to a dead child) and which itself is inspired by a ludicrous photo-story spied within the pages of an adult magazine. Meanwhile, elaborate, florid titles become a key part of deciphering the work; within a series of gouaches that occupy the upper part of the gallery, the viewer encounters works including Mudhippy turns mother and two daughters into mature cheddar.  These often mysterious mini-tableaux hint at situations on the verge of instability, insanity, or crisis.

David’s work is impertinent, questioning and vital, reacting to a world of hysterical correctness and etiquette that demands that we comply to social normality.

The exhibition was originated by the ICA, London and is supported by the Arts Council England.  The Elephant Trust has contributed to the artist’s fee.


Curator’s Talk
Wednesday 16 April
1.10pm – 1.50pm

Join Pat Fisher, Talbot Rice Gallery Principal Curator for a lively and informal walk and talk tour around the Enrico David exhibition. This popular regular feature will delve into David’s multi-disciplinary approach exploring the motivations and themes that are central to his work. Designed to fit into your lunch hour there is no need to book, just turn up on the day.

Musical Moments
Thursday 1 May

Talbot Rice is delighted to present in partnership with the Italian Consulate an evening concert of Italian music. The Reid Quartet is made up of Edinburgh University graduate and postgraduate students and will play a programme of music by Rossini, Puccini and Verdi in the splendor of the Georgian Gallery. The quartet will be rehearsing in the space in advance of the concert so you may be lucky enough to happen upon some impromptu musical moments.
Tickets are £5/£3 available from the gallery in person or by contacting T:0131 650 2210