Robert Montgomery - Shiny Colourful Amusements for the Walls of the Bourgeoisie
Oct. 01 - Nov. 02, 2019
JD Mallat Gallery
30 Davies Street, Mayfair
London W1K 4NB
Scottish-born and London based artist and poet, Robert Montgomery, brings his solo exhibition, Shiny Colourful Amusements for the Walls of the Bourgeoisie, to JD Malat Gallery Tuesday 1st October – Saturday 2nd November 2019. Coinciding with Frieze London, the highly anticipated exhibition is set to captivate Montgomery’s worldwide following. Through Shiny Coloured Amusements for the Walls of the Bourgeoisie, Montgomery, renowned for his large, public light installations and distinctive black and white billboard works, presents a selection of lightworks made especially for the exhibition. The show also combines his illustrious light work technique that is well known to viewers, with new works that celebrate the artist’s return to other mediums such as painting and an electrifying exploration of colour. The globally acclaimed artist is set to fuse together these unique, imaginative approaches to his craft and bring to fruition one of his most ambitious solo exhibitions to date.
JD Malat Gallery is proud to cultivate Montgomery’s comprehensive exhibition history, having had numerous solo exhibitions across the world, most recently at the Aspen Art Museum in January 2019. Not to mention, Montgomery has presented many important exhibitions in the United Kingdom, such as being shortlisted for the UK Holocaust Memorial, showcased at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Montgomery has also had a strong Biennale presence worldwide, representing Britain at Kochi Biennale in 2012 and the Yinchuan Biennale in 2016.
Whilst many artists become synonymous with one artistic medium, Robert is rather synonymous with a particular kind of poetic phrasing — loosely applying the principle of “concrete poetry” across an array of media, he brings words alive in watercolour, fire poems, solar powered light installations, woodcut panels, billboards and paintings. His work sits somewhere in-between a tradition of contemporary language art seen in artists like Tracey Emin, Jenny Holzer and Lawrence Weiner, and an older tradition of concrete poetry that goes back to Guillaume Apollinaire and in Britain to Ian Hamilton Finlay and Edward Lucie-Smith.
Speaking of the upcoming exhibition, Montgomery commented, “I am thrilled to be showing at JD Malat Gallery. These rooms have a great heritage, Jean-David has breathed new life into Mayfair with the space at 30 Davies Street and he has very good taste, his is one of the most exciting new galleries in London for sure. The great space here gives us a scale in which we are able to present a show that is both slightly retrospective on my work alongside a series of new paintings.”
JD Malat Gallery will exhibit a selection of Montgomery’s newly made lightworks, which echo his important installations of the past at the old Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, the Kochi Biennale in 2012 and his installation of “THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE BECOME GHOSTS INSIDE OF YOU, AND LIKE THIS YOU KEEP THEM ALIVE” at the De La Warr Pavilion in 2010. This piece became one of the most talked about artworks of the last decade, with its image having been shared more than 24 million times online.
Speaking of Robert’s work, author Dane Weatherman explains that, “to encounter the work of Robert Montgomery is to make a tender encounter whose tenderness is enhanced by the public, communal quality of his work. To encounter his work is to have your body filled with a sad thunder and your head filled with a sad light. He is a complete artist and works in language, light, paper, space. He engages completely with the urban world with a translucent poetry. His work arrives at us through a kind of lucid social violence. No one has blended language, form and light in such a direct way.”