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Corinna Spencer

The Names

16 January – 6 February 2016
Friday & Saturday 12-6pm
Transition Gallery
E8 4QN

Corinna Spencer - The Famous Hollywood Hills (2) acrylic on canvas - A4 - 21x29cm  copy

The Names features a number of small works; each one is about the name / signature of the artist who made it. From Duchamp’s subversive R.Mutt to Josh Smith’s shameless painted autographs, artists have cavorted with the significance of the signature. As a rule, in the early 20th century, the signature was a vital addition to the front of an artwork, embedding the artist’s identity into the work with showy authentication. In contemporary art, however, the signature is generally discretely placed on the back of an artwork and a prominent signature has become the signifier of very bad, amateur taste.

Denying the name on the front of the work is an art world game. The value of an artwork depends upon its maker – so excluding the name means only those in the know, know for sure the veracity of the work.

In contemporary culture ‘bad taste’ can quite legitimately be resurrected and become a sign of the most adventurous tastemakers. Thus, there are now artists who knowingly embrace the potential of the signature by signing their work prominently and defiantly on the front.

The Names first appeared at Sluice Art Fair in October 2015. It will be reimagined at Transition Gallery in January 2016 with 18 additional artists.

Michael Ajerman / Phil Allen / Sarah Baker / Mike Bartlett / Sara Berman / Kirsty Buchanan / Andrew Bracey / Jenny Campbell / Brian Cheeswright / Paul Cole / Sarah Cleaver / Annabel Dover / Gordon Dalton / Sarah Doyle / Luci Eyers / Grant Foster / Archie Franks / Susie Hamilton / Russell Herron / Ed Hill / Paul Housley / Henry Hussey / Marie Jacotey / Jasper Joffe / Tash Kahn / Adam Kelly / Matthew Krishanu / Paul Kindersley / Delaine Le Bas / Damian Le Bas / Cathy Lomax / Enzo Marra / Chloe Manasseh / Alex Michon / Alex Pearl / Vera Portatadino / Michael Pybus / Harry Pye / Dallas Seitz / Alli Sharma / Corinna Spencer / Emma Talbot / Mimei Thompson / Joel Tomlin / Gavin Toye / Katherine Tulloh / Isaac Willis / Rose Wylie