Platform for Art is delighted to present an exhibition of new work by David Batchelor made especially for Gloucester Road Tube station. The exhibition continues the programme’s commitment to showing significant work by mid-career artists.
Batchelor has used 10 of the arched niches on the disused platform, each housing a single work made of found steel or aluminium, centrally suspended and illuminated from behind. Viewers will see a series of dark silhouettes of varying sizes and shapes, surrounded by a halo of colour that fills each alcove. The works are simultaneously dark and bright, not unlike the Underground, and indeed the city, itself. They exploit the peculiarities of the arches and the space on the platform.
These works are a continuation and development of a project on which Batchelor has been working over the last decade: an examination of the characteristic colours and associated materials of our urban environment, and an attempt to make vivid three-dimensional work from these materials and effects.
Some of the structures are made from items that have been decommissioned from the Underground network and that would otherwise have gone to the scrap heap. The use of found, second-hand objects is one of a number of preoccupations within Batchelor’s artistic practice. He has made works using items such as industrial trolleys and steel shelving, discarded road signs, commercial light-boxes and polyurethane bottles. The pervasive yet indescribable nature of colour, monochrome in particular, is also a key focus for Batchelor, along with a fascination with the urban experience that firmly places the city as a central frame of reference in all of his work. Titles such as The Spectrum of Hackney Road, a series of works from 2003, relate directly to specific places in the city of London.