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A solo exhibition of established British artist Edwin Burdis at our recently opened new gallery VITRINE, Basel. ’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.

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Depicting various forms and characters as heterogeneous organs and machines, Burdis 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.

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

Curator: Alys Williams.

Generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales.

Selected press

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Edwin Burdis (b. 1974, Newcastle, UK) has significantly contributed to the London art scene for over a decade and is now based between London and Wales.

Burdis was as recipient of a Creative Wales Award 2015/16 and an Arts Council England bursary to produce his operatic film work ‘Light Green and Dark Grey (A Personal View)’ (2014). He had a commission and residency at Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (2015); was commissioned for SCULPTURE AT Bermondsey Square, London, (2015); and had a residency at Primary, Nottingham, UK (2014).

His work has been presented internationally, including: Hayward Gallery, London; Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Scotland; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, UK; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK; Arnolfini, Bristol, UK; MOMA Machynlleth, Wales, UK; ICA, London, UK; TATE Modern and TATE Britain, London, UK; g|39, Cardiff, Wales, UK; Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK; Jerwood Visual Arts, London, UK; Plymouth Art Weekender, Plymouth, UK; Cardiff Contemporary Visual Arts Festival, Wales, UK; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; South London Gallery, London, UK; Focal Point Gallery, Southend, UK; Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK; New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK; Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, D; Skanes Kunstforening, Malmo, Sweden; Gavin Brown Enterprise, New York, USA; and at the art fair ARTISSIMA, Turin, IT (solo stand with VITRINE).

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