20th November - 21st December, 2007
"Jack Milroy's art is made of visual puns and disturbances" wrote Dame Antonia Byatt (Modern Painters, 2002) and William Packer calls him "the gentlest of surrealists and the subtlest of conceptualists".
Milroy cuts things with a scalpel, to make virtuosic, three dimensional constructions in paper and film which are installed in clear perspex boxes. He cuts up books to release their contents in anarchic novel arrangements, or he uses his computer and a state of the art Epson printer to make archival inkjet prints from intriguing manipulations of imagery, as in The Garden Series.
Whilst there is a playful side which answers to an irrepressible sense of humour, with an interest in the art of transformation, sabotage and chance, there is also a serious formal investigation at work, and a darker preoccupation which underpins much of Milroy's oeuvre. Andrew Lambirth puts it like this, in his catalogue essay for Cut:
"Milroy is drawn to monumental events and big themes, to cataclysm and paradise: 9/11 in his last show and the Garden of Eden in this. His work has always balanced between violence and gentleness, surgery and healing, but the gap between the two is more evident in his latest work. He feels moved to examine the eternal verities and polarities, the extremes of human experience. At the same time, his work patrols the dim boundary between surrealism and fairy tale, the gutsy magic of folk wisdom which masquerades as nursery stories."