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Art First Projects

Writing on the Wall

Alex Knell, Helen MacAlister, Jack Milroy, Simon Morley

12 April – 21 May 2016

Helen MacAlister, Ye are Na Mary Morison, 2006, oil on canvas, each panel 29.7 x 42 cm Helen MacAlister, Ye are Na Mary Morison (detail), 2006, oil on canvas, each panel 29.7 x 42 cm
Simon Morley, The Berlin Wall, 2010, watercolour on paper, 60.5 x 81.5 cm Jack Milroy, 7 Deadly Sins, 2014, digital print in archival ink, 85 x 80 cm Alex Knell, What You Are Without, 2016, Giclée print and vinyl on paper, 1m x 1m

The title for this show refers to the book of that name written by Simon Morley and published by Thames and Hudson in 2003. His groundbreaking study explores the period of cut-up Cubist collages, to the monumental filmic narratives of Fiona Banner and the demotic scrawl of Cy Twombly, examining how the use of words is one of the defining features of modern art.

The AFP exhibition begins with Morley, who like his fellow exhibitors, happens not to be included in his own book. His monochrome book paintings and text works for which he is best known, are essentially reductive - exercising the “will to subtraction and purification” (Kasimir Malevitch's White on White painting is the epitome of this process) which the French philosopher Alain Badiou, sees as one of the distinctive characteristics of the 20th century.

Read more in the PRESS RELEASE