Bruce Risdon – Juxt is..
Preview Friday 3rd February 2017 – 7pm
Exhibition continues until 18th February
Open Wednesday – Saturday 12 – 5pm
This first exhibition of the New Year heralds the beginning of a series of events running throughout 2017 celebrating the 10th year of elysium gallery.
Over the past decade elysium has staged hundreds of exhibitions supporting hundreds of artists and has grown from a pop-up roaming gallery to an established exhibitions and studio provider greatly contributing to the Welsh arts scene.
Prior to its beginnings in 2007, elysium was preceded by exposure gallery (2003-06) run by (amongst others) some of the current Directors of elysium gallery. The very first exhibition at exposure was Shropshire born, Swansea based artist Bruce Risdon who presented his highly distinctive mix of landscape and portrait paintings. Risdon’s large works were executed in a bold, colourful, gestural style with themes ranging from underlying erotic narratives to confident landscape vistas. This maiden exhibition started the journey which leads us to now.
In honour of that exhibition at exposure gallery and this landmark year for elysium gallery, Risdon has returned to the figure as subject matter and presents a new body of paintings. “Juxt is…” looks at the breaking down of the traditional social stereotypes, of identity, sexuality, and gender roles. It is a representation of the modern diffraction of the typical norms, displaying the contemporary individual’s former peculiarities that have now become disparate guiltless pleasures.
A series of large portraits based on paintings from antiquity are brought up to date by each person’s contradictory proclivity, which is perhaps best expressed in the title of one piece called “Chainsaw Amy”. Juxt is… is all painted in acrylics for environmental reasons, and with this a more chiaroscuro technique has evolved but is nonetheless as expressive as earlier works. They contain arrears of intense detail giving way to contrasting sketched gestures, which hark to Freudian folds and Gogh-esque blooms.
Bruce Risdon was an integral part of exposure gallery and the early years of elysium gallery. We are extremely proud to be able to present this new body of work and it is fitting that ‘Juxt is…’ will launch this year’s exciting programme of 10th anniversary exhibitions and activities.
Risdon is a regular exhibiter in the Chelsea Open, contributor and curator at the Xavier White Gallery, Blackheath, and member of the South Wales’s painters The Blue Orchard Group. It was in 2010, after his London solo show Contempariz Reprize, that Risdon helped form the Twelve34 Gallery, the group who went on to produce the highly successful, ongoing Divided by the Meltwater series of group exhibitions. Risdon is currently writing his book “Unebehagen- the Phenomenon of Whymme” which he says is “a light-hearted philosophical romp, in a liminal space, through twisted histories”.