Alex Farrar: Faltering, light under two screw holes…

SE8 Gallery is proud to present the work of Amsterdam-based artist Alex Farrar, in his first solo exhibition in London. The exhibition will be titled after its installation is the result of summer-long residency at SE8 during which the artist produced a group of Sweat Paintings, ‘Umble Prints and Behavioural Residues.

Made by lead casting enlarged drawings of pared fingernails, Behavioural Residues are a series of sculptures that form a visual oxymoron. Their weight and scale counters the doubt and uncertainty associated with the action of biting nails. For the exhibition at SE8, a number of these have been returned to the Rijksakademie where they were first produced in 2015, their toxic surface covered in a metallic paint finish in bright, garish colours commonly used in nail polish.

The Sweat Paintings, begun in 2017, are made with a silicone-based mixture dripped, poured and brushed into organic forms that improvise on the ways in which sweat appears on clothing. By fixing this momentary spillage Farrar captures an expression of discomfort that reveals a tension between our public and private lives, as a form of alienation that produces an abject response.

Much of the content of the new works can be found in an embryonic state in the ’Umble Prints, where a scattershot collection of heads, contorted faces, fingernails, crab shells, and snakeskins amass on a backdrop of open textbooks. Printed in bright, bold colours with a risograph duplicator, their individual titles, ‘Jumble’, ‘Fumble’, ‘Stumble’ etc. belie the fragility of their making and the thread of vulnerability, and precarity that runs throughout the presentation.

Farrar’s exhibition is accompanied by a new publication entitled ‘Wimper’ by Mulberry Tree Press with texts by novelist and artist David Price, and by the curators Nicola Oxley and Nicolas de Oliveira. The book will be launched at the finissage on Saturday the 26th October from 3-6pm.

Farrar is concurrently showing at Bloc Projects, Sheffield and is represented by Dürst, Britt and Mayhew, Amsterdam.

The exhibition is supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands.