the lives of others: a solo exhibition by Justin Hibbs
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” William Morris
Justin Hibbs solo exhibition presents a new collection of work for the Laurent Delaye Gallery. This diverse body of work is made up of paintings, prints, collages, photographs, and assembled design objects that include shelving units and a room dividing screen. Through this work Hibbs addresses the blurred boundaries between art, design, and their respective modes of display, curated to highlight the formal and informal relationships we have, both as viewers and 'collectors' of our own personal artefacts.
The title of the exhibition, 'The Lives of Others', summarises the rich implications of this show challenging some preconceptions around art making - notions of value and use, collections, and collectors, as well as the curatorial role of artistic authorship.
This site-specific installation is considered as a total environment - 'a construction'. From the transparent vinyl on the windows modifying the light entering the space to the larger shelving works which act simultaneously both as sculptures and objects of display. The shelves, (a prominent feature of the exhibition) house collections of the artist's work and research (or thinking) material, as well as reference points to shared histories; his influences and relationships to others, as all of our objects do... Curated on the shelves is the work of his partner Rosalind Davis and her father Peter Davis, as well as his collaboration with music composer Ben Lancaster to create the new limited edition record release 'Hidden Future Reverse Synthesis.' Like every home, the artworks are personal, intimate, transitory and ever changing.
Alongside the shelf sculpture is another transformative object; a folding screen, for all intents and purposes designed as a partition for a domestic space - to conceal and divide, operating both as a modular painting and functional object. Made from frosted Acrylic, framed in plywood, the artwork within is formed with geometric shapes counteracted by organic plant forms drawn with ink. It is simultaneously both a handmade and machined object, informed by the artist's wider work as a designer and the environment of his own home where the organic and the geometric playfully collide.
The exhibition is a site of encounter and a space for dialogue where objects & people are encouraged to interact. It brings into play the spirit of the Bauhaus and the Concrete Avant-Garde movement which was about engaging public participation and rejecting the idea of art as a rarefied commodity set apart from the real world and the domestic. The works here want to be collaborated with and modified by the external interventions of others; personalised as props for their own intimate possessions, to become a part of the lives of others…
The exhibition transforms the notion of the gallery as a white cube space, (in this case a former shop with its own layers of history and display) and creates artworks from a living context for an imaginary domestic space. Modernist ideas have now become co-opted into the mainstream especially in the furniture industry and retail outlets, with the imitation of its heritage a constant feature. But what the mass-produced design industry often lacks is the poetry of these forms and structures, the use of imagination to reinvent.
Text by Laurent Delaye, Rosalind Davis & Justin Hibbs
References: The Lives of Others exhibition title references the film of the same name by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (2007).
RECORDS OF WORKS BELOW WILL BE REGULARLY ADDED AND UPDATED OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.
Justin HibbsArtist Talk 2-4pm 9 April 2022We are delighted to invite you to a conversation with the artist Justin Hibbs to discuss his ideas around his solo exhibition the lives of others currently on show at the gallery until 24 April The artist will be joined by Rosalind Davis and Laurent Delaye