British artist Dexter Dalwood (b.1960) is the closest thing the contemporary scene has to a 'history painter'. He has built a strong reputation over the last decade, exhibiting widely in the UK, Europe and the United States. His haunting paintings and collages depict imagined scenes or landscapes that bear the traces of important historical moments, or places where celebrities of various kinds have lived or died.
These themes range from major political events like The Death of David Kelly (2008) or The Birth of the UN (2003), to places which have simply become lodged in our collective cultural unconscious; these include Sharon Tate's House 1998, Neverland 1999, Greenham Common 2008 and Camp David 1999.
Almost all of Dalwood's paintings initially begin as small collages - compositions he assembles by literally cutting and pasting from the pages of magazines and art historical sources. In the subsequent large-scale canvases the abrupt disjunctures and sharp, clinical edges of the collages are faithfully reproduced, preserving their slightly unnerving, almost jarring quality and reproducing it at an exhilarating and monumental scale.
This book, featuring major paintings and collages made over the last twelve years, includes newly commissioned essays by Michael Bracewell and Terry R. Meyers, as well as an extensive interview with the artist by Martin Clark and Florence Derieux. It is the first career overview of Dalwood's work to be published. Florence Derieux is Director of FRAC Champagne-Ardenne.
Martin Clark is Artistic Director of Tate St Ives.
Helena Juncosa is Chief Curator at CAC Málaga.
Contributors include Michael Bracewell, Martin Clark, Florence Derieux and Terry R. Myers.
There is little doubt Dalwood will become one of the most important artists of our time and this collection of essays and colour reproductions gives valuable insight into his thinking and his craft.
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