Tate Modern Untitled gallery, Level 2
4 December 2004 – 30 January 2005
The first exhibition at Tate Modern devoted exclusively to collage and drawing, Pin-Up: Contemporary Collage and Drawing opens on 4 December. This will be the fourth exhibition in the Untitled series, and will feature a selection of forty five works on paper by nine emerging international artists; Sebastiaan Bremer, Matt Bryans, Amie Dicke, Godfried Donkor, Dr. Lakra, Wangechi Mutu, Jockum Nordström, Steven Shearer and Nicole Wermers.
All the artists in Pin-Up are interested in what lies hidden beneath the surface of public life. This may be other-worldly or gothic tendencies or traces of popular culture and folklore within mass-produced materials. A number of the artists take materials from the public realm: advertising, newsprint or the internet, and by a variety of processes, such as drawing, cutting or rubbing away, transform them into something personal, strange, haunting or humorous. Other artists combine drawing with personal photographs or hand-made papers to create works that are surreal and atmospheric.
The lure of glamour and the power of the glossy advertisement are central to the work of Amie Dicke (born 1978 Netherlands). Dicke lacerates large fashion posters and magazine adverts with a scalpel, revealing a phantom gothic structure beneath, and turning supermodels into languid ghouls. Wangechi Mutu (born 1972 Kenya) creates hybrid alien models from magazine cuttings, combining glamour and horror to present an alternative version of beauty. Like modernist stained glass windows Nicole Wermers’s (born 1971 Germany) perfume bottle collages extract a formal purity from these heavily marketed objects.
Dr Lakra (born 1972 Mexico) is a tattoo artist who makes doodles on the glowing skin of 1950s pin-up girls. Godfried Donkor’s collages (born 1964 Ghana) fuse contemporary carnival show-girls with references to capitalism, religion and the history of slavery. Matt Bryans (born 1977, England) creates a new kind of drawing by rubbing ink away from newsprint pictures. The effect is ghostly and ethereal, as the faces of world politicians, celebrities and ordinary people are blended into one human mass.
Sebastian Bremer (born 1970, Netherlands) makes large prints from photographs originally taken by friends and family. To these he adds a delicate mist of pointillist drawing using ink and retouching paint. Using references to the surreal and the folkloric Jockum Nordström (born 1963 Sweden) is interested in the absurd collisions between everyday life and fantasy, and his collages and drawings provide a very personal version of modern day alienation.
Steven Shearer (born 1968, Canada), offers a contrasting approach to universal and private experiences by creating poster installations and collages from images found on the internet and from personal memorabilia.
This exhibition is curated by Emma Dexter, Curator (Modern and Contemporary) Tate Modern, and Susan May, Head of the Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, and formerly a curator at Tate Modern. A unique display space has been designed by architects Herzog and De Meuron especially for the series. Untitled is a series of six eight-week contemporary exhibitions at Tate Modern dedicated to presenting new work by international artists not widely exhibited in the UK. This year the series explores The Public World of the Private Space.