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Corinna Spencer

Gordon Cheung:The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Gordon Cheung
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
7 August – 1 November 2009
New art Gallery Walsall

I’m bumping a post this week because I went to see Cheungs Exhibit at the Walsall Gallery, and had to blog. (and a gold star for me-theres still plenty of time to see this)

    Gordon Cheung creates hallucinogenic visions inspired by a wide range of sources including science fiction, 18th century romantic painting, zombie films, cartoons and current affairs. His works reflect on such contemporary issues as the war on terror, religion, economics, globalisation, the digital age and technology. *Walsall Art Gallery*

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Stock listings, ink, acrylic gel and spray paint on canvas, 2009

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    For this exhibition, the artist has created a significant new body of works including contemporary interpretations of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. For the first time, sculpture, animations and laser etchings are shown alongside his more familiar mixed media paintings.*Walsall Art Gallery*

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    Sculpture: …Using a cast of a long horn bull. Presented in mirror cases they appear like ancient relics or revered icons. Each one is made of different materials to suggest each of the Horsemen. Plaster and oxidized copper filings for Death (pale green), terracotta and iron for War (red), plaster and marble for Conquest (white), and concrete and graphite for Famine (black)….key inspiration was Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey in which a bone is thrown into the air and subsequently becomes a spaceship. Through this work he suggests that the evolution of humanity is intertwined with violence. *D Robinson, Wallsall Art Gallery*

Visual trickery used with in the sculptures, though simple, became very effective in bringing to mind an abyss inhabited by increasingly strong feelings of inevitability (I dont know if I’m on board with such a fatalistic vision). The references are all there, as described by the gallery, but not overwhelming and some of the works are playful while peppered with the more poignant and sadly all to recognizable images like *Father* bellow.

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Father (Disasters of Terror), laser etching, vaporised stock listings on plywood, 2009

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This is pretty stunning visually, the large scale paintings have the mix of beauty and horror that I love so I recommend it…..however…’All hope abandon ye who enter here’. Or maybe- we have to destroy to make.

A sample of The Doors-The End was looped as part of the film instilation. Enjoy….

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