Platform for Art continues the series of exhibitions at Gloucester Road station with new work by Muntean/Rosenblum. In tandem, they will also present new work at Tate Britain as part of the Art Now programme from 17 April – 20 June 2004. These joint exhibitions, It Is Never Facts That Tell, represent an important and exciting collaboration between London Underground and Tate Britain.
Muntean/Rosenblum have worked together since 1992. Consistently featuring in their work are generic adolescent figures, which are initially appropriated from lifestyle and fashion magazines but then undergo a whole process of transformation and construction.
These young, beautiful people are depicted in drawings, paintings or photographs, alone or in groups, in various urban or interior settings. Words and phrases, culled from similar sources, are also carefully placed in the works as if as captions for the images. However, the relationship between image and text is not obvious, raising further questions rather than reinforcing a specific message.
Muntean/Rosenblum’s work, in its reference to classical, particularly devotional and allegorical, painting, brings the motifs and emblems of Christian iconography to bear on contemporary characters and situations.
The figures could either communicate pathos, reminiscent of characters from Renaissance paintings undergoing a sublime religious experience, or they could simply be bored, a symbol of contemporary ennui. Similarly the disjointed phrases could speak of aspiration and promise, or they could offer notions of doubt and misunderstanding. In keeping with the deliberate uncertainty of meaning in their work, Muntean/Rosenblum question the notion of authorship by working in partnership to create a joint signature style.
The exhibition at Gloucester Road comprises 10 billboard-sized photographs of new drawings in a mise-en-scene that includes a variety of personal effects to suggest a private space; it could even be the floor of the artists’ studio.
The photographs on display at Gloucester Road are reproductions of some of the drawings included in Tate Britain’s Art Now exhibition, which will be Muntean/Rosenblum’s first show in a British museum. The drawings on display at Tate Britain will be exhibited together with paintings, new video work and a sculpture by the artists.