Copper and Silk: new prints by Keith Coventry
This exhibition is now closed
This display in our New Acquisitions space showcases a portfolio of prints made by British artist Keith Coventry in 2008.
Keith Coventry’s prints use abstract geometric shapes, recalling the work of the early-20th century Modernist painters, such as the Futurists and Vorticists.
But where Modernists idealised the tower blocks and motorways of the metropolis, Coventry’s approach is ironic and ambiguous. His prints collide their Utopian vision of modern urban life - as exemplified by post-war housing-estates - with the social problems that result from living in such an environment.
The Estate etchings derive from the directional maps found in high-rise estates across the capital, while the Junk silk-screens deconstruct a fast food logo to a series of elegant arcs and chevrons. The compositions are taken from crushed packs that the artist picked up when walking around London.
Coventry deals with urban decay and social issues more explicitly in the group entitled Crack Girls. These images of young women smoking crack have an idyllic quality but the crack-pipes hint at the turbulence below the sunlit surface.
Keith Coventry was born in Burnley in 1958 and studied at Brighton Polytechnic and Chelsea College of Art. His work was included in the Royal Academy’s influential 1997 exhibition of the Saatchi Collection, Sensation and is represented in numerous public collections including the Tate and MoMA, New York. The artist lives and works in London.