Thursday 5 – Sunday 8 March 2015

Vane is proud to announce the gallery’s fifth consecutive year of participation at the VOLTA NY art fair, New York, USA. We will present work by Stephen Palmer at Booth F8.

Stephen Palmer’s most recent paintings feature second-hand copies of albums by iconic male singers. Palmer partially obscures the original cover artwork by placing the record’s inner sleeve over it so that little more than the face of the recording artist is visible. By highlighting the inner sleeves with their additions of personalised messages and texts, hand written by their one-time owners, Palmer creates a conversation between our idea of that artist and their work (whether it’s David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, or Frank Sinatra) and the ‘unknown’ person who once eagerly scrawled or carefully printed their thoughts thereon. Are they a serious ‘collector’ cataloguing works, a love-struck teenager, or a football fan declaring support for their favourite team as they listen to the album?

Other new paintings expand on an earlier series of drawings transcribing newspapers clippings, each rendered in painstaking detail, a process that confers value to events that may otherwise appear of little importance. In these earlier works, though the selection of stories seems random, the topics – such as ufology, war or obituaries – attract an obsessive following. Many reference more recent news. In The way to the village a story of wartime atrocities links to the current European financial crisis with reparation payments for events that happened more than fifty years ago. In The Lover, the deletion of a name from an obituary leaves only a visual clue to the dead person’s story, reflecting a filmic stereotype of male gender role.

The new paintings are, in part, a reaction against the earlier drawings. Produced in the same painstaking detail, the newspaper stories reflect on cultural, technological and scientific advances that have come to a more definitive end: the closure of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper in The end of the World Pt 1; the last flight of the space shuttle in Shuttle’s last trip. Presented as if screwed up and discarded by the reader, the new works have a more sculptural feel than before. Does the artist wish to move on and be rid of those earlier, more careful depictions? Or does the discarding proclaim ‘this really is the end’?

Opening Times

Thursday 5 March Preview: 6-8pm
Friday 6 March and Saturday 7 March 12-8pm
Sunday 8 March 12-7pm

West 50th Street & 12th Avenue
New York
NY 10036