Friday, November 7, 2008

'Into the Fold' at Forster

Into the Fold (solo show): 7 November - 20 December 2008

1 Chapel Place
Rivington Street

+44 (0)20 7739 7572

press release:

FORSTER is proud to present James Roper’s forthcoming solo show, ‘Into The Fold’, a much anticipated collection of stunning new paintings and a site-specific installation in his first exhibition at the gallery.

Roper draws upon his own library of photographs as a foundation for his striking paintings, whilst also obsessively trawling and utilizing a plethora of visual material found on the internet, including fashion, animation, and advertising. Each of the artist’s paintings result from his re-digestion and translation of these collected pictorial tools, with his superior use of paint.

‘I predominantly choose images and try to create forms which I feel register a visual 'peak shift', a term given to the phenomena of 'neurological attraction' that appears in both humans and animals to an extreme characterization of an object.’ – James Roper

This ‘peakshift’ is core to the artists work. Present within advertising, Hollywood blockbusters, haute couture fashion, as well as in extreme forms of body exaggeration such as bodybuilding and pornography, the artist extracts the key element of the image, that causes such heightened visual excitement. By isolating ‘peakshift’ images and merging them through collage, the intention is to intensify the visual triggers so that they form a sort of neurological hyperactivity.

In addition to contemporary source material, James Roper’s work has been heavily influenced by Catholic imagery from the Baroque period and he specifically sites Bernini - the exaggerated depiction of texture, flesh and folds in robes and cloth as key source of inspiration.

"I see the fold of things through the dust they stir up, and whose folds I cast aside. I do not see into God, but I do see into the folds." Deleuze – The Fold

The excessive use of pleats in the artists work surround the viewer as if they are housed within this lavish world of colour and texture. They themselves are engulfed by these surfaces and become part of the folds that are beyond the canvas but are indeed hinted at. The sublime titles of the paintings point towards an otherworldly suggestion of infinity or the constant shift of perception and understanding of space, time and quantity. We have to ask what is it that we are looking for – an answer, solution, reason or cause? Surely the best option is to enjoy this visual feast laid before us, and submerge ourselves into the fold?

Since completing his BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005 James Roper has exhibited widely across the UK and has been featured in such publications as Belio Magazine and Dazed and Confused. Roper is currently art directing a short film he co-wrote that won funding from NorthWest Vision and Media as part of their Virgin Shorts 2008.
For further information and images please contact Suzanne at the gallery on +44 (0)20 7739 7572 or