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Kevin Francis Gray

09/04 2011 – 07/05 2011

Mendes Wood DM is pleased to present London-based artist Kevin Francis Gray’s first solo show in Brazil. The exhibition will feature new sculptures in resin and bronze. Gray’s sculptures etch out at once vivid and blank portraits of contemporary punk and urban subculture in a masterfully executed neoclassical style. Throughout his work formal tensions between shape and shapelessness, excess and restraint, naturalism and idealism aspire to notions of the sublime and of the real.

The artist’s work takes up a stylistic space between the Neoclassical and Gothic styles – seamlessly fusing the naturalism and melancholy of the Gothic [1] with the heroism and purity of the Hellenistic. His subjects are drawn from countercultural sources – adolescents, masochists, punks and poets – and recollect the Byronic hero (or antihero). Proud and flawed, morbid and beautiful, Gray’s sculptures remind the viewer of the affinities between death and the erotic, the sensual and the finite.

Kevin Francis Gray (b. 1972, Northern Ireland) received his BFA from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, and an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago as well as an MFA from Goldsmiths College, London. Gray has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe. Gray’s work has recently been exhibited at the Daejeon Museum of Art, Korea, the Musee d’art Moderne, Saint-Etienne, France, the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Valde-Marne, Paris, France and the Riso Museo d'art Contemporanea, Sicily, Italy. He has also exhibited a the Musée National des Beaux-Arts de Québec, Canada, the ARTIUM Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, MAMA Rotterdam, P.A.N. Museum, Naples and the Royal Academy, London.

[1] In The Stones of Venice, John Ruskin characterizes the Gothic in 6 ways: “1. Savageness; 2. Changefulness; 3. Naturalism; 4. Grotesqueness; 5. Rigidity; 6. Redundance.”

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