Dale Lawrence | Another Helping

Thu, October 19, 2017 to Fri, November 17, 2017
  • Dale Lawrence
    Dale Lawrence, "After the Master of San Miniato, on Self-Actualisation", 2017, Oil on canvas, 60 x 40cm
  • Dale Lawrence
    Dale Lawrence, "After Dürer, upon Seeing the Light", 2017, Oil on canvas, 60 x 40cm
  • Dale Lawrence
    Dale Lawrence, "After Gauguin, after closing on a high" 2017, Oil on canvas, 150 x 100cm
  • Dale Lawrence
    Acquisition, 2017, Acrylic on paper, 120 x 80cm
  • Dale Lawrence
    Another Helping 2017, Linocut on paper 120 x 80cm, Varied Edition of 3,
  • Dale Lawrence
    Waste Management, 2017, Linocut on paper, monotype on paper, 76 x 56 x 6cm
  • Dale Lawrence
    Garnish for the Salad, 2017, Monotype on paper, 100 x 50cm
  • Dale Lawrence
    Keeping Up Appearances, 2017, Linocut on paper, 108 x 72cm, Edition of 5
  • Dale Lawrence
    Non-committal, 2017, Linocut on paper, 104 x 64cm, Edition of 5
Dale Lawrence
Dale Lawrence
Dale Lawrence
Dale Lawrence
Dale Lawrence
Dale Lawrence
Dale Lawrence
Dale Lawrence
Dale Lawrence

Dale Lawrence returns for his second solo show at SMITH with Another Helping, a collection of paintings and linocuts accompanied by a sculptural installation and a single monotype.

Drawing from his critically acclaimed first show Look Busy, Lawrence has reworked previous ideas, methods and finished works in an attempt to detect and draw out the shifting moment of novelty. In the most literal example of this process, he tore or otherwise interfered with old linocuts and used the defaced plates to make new artworks.

“I was interested in the moment the works actually become new; whether the lack of so-called ‘original' input - the labour, the sacrifice, the creation that was involved the first time - lessened the result or made something new and credible of its own.”

At the crux of this intention is Lawrence’s increasing appreciation of and gravitation towards flashes of hazard, chance or accident in his work. To this end, the collection documents his various attempts at creating “a better result with less perfection”.

The title of the show sees Lawrence thumb his nose at the pressure to produce identical work to prior shows, while conceding that by being an artist with a set of ideas and a preferred means by which to communicate them he is bound to deliver something at least similar.

“I am playing off the two driving contradictory mechanisms within the art industry - the fact that on one hand you’re supposed to do new things because new things communicate new ideas - which is the point of contemporary art - and on the other, you’re supposed to do more of the same because it needs to be sustainable economically.”

The title further explores the similarities and differences of the presentation, consumption and evaluation of art and food. Lawrence hones in on the idea that the outstanding similarity between the two is in their capacity to communicate an attitude or a message. For producers and consumers of art, there is a lot to be learned by food - a comparatively more direct yet reputedly lower form of communication.

Lawrence contends that by satisfying a practical need, food directly serves its purpose but argues that as a cultural or social tool for communication it is a far better at its job than art.

“Everyone knows how to eat. The effect of eating is equally clear and understood. There may be a subtle effect that is being missed - understood by some and not others - but with art we are often not sure how to consume nor process it. Perhaps this is why we talk about art so much.”

In order the break up the tension and intimidation of a classic gallery layout, Lawrence has sub-divided the space to provide more devoted, focused visual opportunities.

“The fact that work is in a gallery to start with elevates its status from everyday object to significant object. By placing the work on the walls in a gallery you’re suggesting that this work has something to say or that it is worth being contemplated. The more space it is given the more it is loaded with that - therefore the more intimidating but also the more attention it demands. So, the idea of breaking the gallery up was both to create a quietening by having fewer artworks visible at a time. You address what's in front of you - it’s not a buffet.”

Lawrence appeared most recently at the 2017 FNB Art Fair as one of four collaborators on the SMITH-curated special projects show Shall We Move On. He was a finalist for the prestigious L’Atelier 2017 Art Prize in September 2017.

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