Organs, exoskeletons and weapon systems. Autolaque, a facade of freedom. Imprisoned by bills, taxes and fake glee. Hard red body work, soft blue petalled parts. Instinctive lose mark making trapped in thick stability. Stability, a bold battleship grey, nail vanish lie. It’s almost an abstraction, almost. Stubbornly solid and stupid. Mooreism’s jumping over lumpy sham leather upholstery. Shinny carcass’s and forced cosmetic procedures . Slip, slid and skid. Driverless chunks and downloaded love bugs. The last days are in sight now. Tube dreams washed down with a paper cupped fruited substance. A leisurely contemplation of pop pollution. One piston to rule them all, one piston to guide them. Sweet seizure rippling over suicide machines. Rubber gloved hands strapped across burning electronically controlled engines. Climbing and crumbling brute concrete legs straddling 8 lane motorways. Condensing the smarts into something that appears dumb. Don’t suppress or ignore the celebrity chainsawed oak chrome tablets. Red hot irons of XTC deliciously passing through Britneys toxic liver. Stand, waiting for the green light, waiting to be used, abused. Every body using everything all of the time. Overlit hard Sci-Fi fisting and the glare of kitchen gloss under old blighty’s dripping spent hole. Tarmac teeth in a screw face smile watching the throne through double dipped thermal goggles. Glazed and creamy super-pacs. Ballard’s balls smashed under Miu Miu heels. Filthy biomass smeared across pages of Vogue and half eaten Hasbro’s rubbed into a thoroughbreds shins. The never ever of a retro-future 70’s protein pie. Pie high on up in the sky. Way up high.
– Edwin Burdis, 2016
A solo exhibition of established British artist Edwin Burdis at VITRINE, Basel. For the gallery’s second exhibition in its new Basel space, ’AutoLaque’ brings together new works in paint with sound and performance in a unique and extravagant fusion, quintessential of Burdis’ practice.
The future, home and the environment (with a large helping of humour) are recurring themes in Burdis’ practice: negotiating the serious through the absurd. Depicting various forms and characters as heterogeneous organs and machines, he draws from his homeland island Britain, its inhabitants and an imaginary world full of absurdity, recklessness and delusions of grandeur.
Burdis’ works depict this Britain through various themes – housing, health, water and food production – and in this new body of work he questions our ongoing relationship with cars and their supposed status as a symbol of choice and freedom. As an auto-repair company might replace, layer and ‘pimp’ these objects of desire, Burdis creates his forms with a bold mix of acrylic, gloss, spray paint and car body filler on wood panels and three-dimensional forms.
This new body of work sits within a recent series of works described loosely as ‘Magpie Operas’, in which live and pre-recorded sound is presented within two- and three-dimensional painted installations. The script and recordings have evolved concurrently to the painted works with the opera acting as a link between the striking and surreal imagery and his rich sound vocabulary.
Edwin Burdis was as recipient of a Creative Wales Award 2015/16. Research and production for this exhibition was generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales.