Joel Gray’s first London solo exhibition of stone works and performance.
Combining the ancient crafts of carving, modelling and casting, Gray creates primitive and consumerist objects of desire and power, crossing luxury and street culture. Interested in the primal act of art making and the basic nature of creativity; the idea of “pre language” and man’s desire to communicate with whatever material is at hand is paramount to Gray’s practice.
Gray revels in traditional production methods, carving everyday consumerist products, such as iPhones and luxury sunglasses into forms of varying scale. These ephemeral objects of desire and luxury become their own ludicrous archetypes. Einstein’s refrigerator becomes a cove; A primitive shelf becomes a personage reminding us of the original storage of food, the body. Laptops are transformed into minimalist free masonry, finding obtuse and acute meaning. The brief history (and future) of these objects is assembled within Vitrine Bermondsey Square, placing them alongside bones, teeth, and the stone itself, laid out for the viewer to examine.
Joel Gray has created performances for Tate Modern, Tate Britain, British Museum and the ICA. Recently exhibited with New Primitives (London), The Bun House (London), and Folkestone Triennial. He is currently artist in residence at Grande Disco, Portugal, is a founding member of the performance group ‘The Gut Club’ and master stone carver for Anish Kapoor.
Photographer, Stephen Williams