4 September – 17 October 2009
Timothy Taylor Gallery is delighted to announce the second exhibition at the gallery by the Zurich based Armenian artist Armen Eloyan.
Known for his vigorous paintings of cartoon inspired characters, often acting out absurd scenarios, Armen Eloyan’s new body of work focuses on a series of Pinocchio figures fashioned from logs, sausages, screws and potatoes that sport goofy teeth, lolling tongues or goggling eyes. Eloyan’s Pinocchios are alone and trapped in their own little worlds; horrific in their imbecility, they echo Goya’s Caprices or Guston’s closed and tragic world. As the wooden son of old Geppetto, Pinocchio was always getting into scrapes and misadventures – he’s therefore the perfect cartoonish cipher for Eloyan’s painterly meditations on accident, failure, innocence and dogged persistence.
The figure in Untitled (Painter), 2009 sits against a wall, eyes closed, surrounded by palettes, brushes and paints; a fearful evocation of the loneliness of the studio and the blank canvas. In Untitled (Slice), 2009, employing all the graphic force of a poster or advert, the entire canvas dramatically depicts a cross-eyed face in close-up, its blemishes provided by the knots in the wood. In Untitled (Painter II), 2009, the mutilated Pinocchio log is missing an arm and a large piece of his trunk, but he doggedly remains standing, continuing to work, his mouth forced into an uncomfortable rictus. These misshapen, mutilated figures exude a powerful pathos; Eloyan excels at levelling his humorous take on human nature with a profoundly existential vision.
Describing Eloyan’s last exhibition at Timothy Taylor Gallery, Bookstore Cure, Jackie Wullschlager of the FT suggested that Eloyan’s world came ‘straight from the tragic-comic 20th century East European tradition, evoking Kafka’s mix of pessimism and transcendental yearning’.
On Saturday the 17th October, to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair, the gallery will hold a brunch viewing from 10am – midday. At 10.30am Emma Dexter will give an introduction to the exhibition in the presence of the artist.
Eloyan was born in Armenia in 1966. He studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, graduating in 2005. He now lives and works in Zurich. Past solo exhibitions include Bookstore Cure, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, 2008; Local Gothic and Culture, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, St Gallen, 2008; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, 2007; and Two Feet in One Shoe, Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, 2007. Group exhibitions include Until the End of the World, AMPGallery, Athens, 2009; Ventriloquist, curated by Emma Dexter, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, 2009; and INVOLVED, curated by Philippe Pirotte, ShanghART Gallery & H Space, Shanghai, 2008. Eloyan will be participating in a citywide presentation of art from Eastern Europe, in Bruges, curated by Luc Tuymans and Miroslav Balka in 2010.
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