20 Maggio – 3 Luglio 2016
Acappella is pleased to present Popular Insignia, a solo exhibition by British artist Grant Foster. This is Foster’s first solo presentation in Italy and also his first exhibition in Naples. Popular Insignia embeds elements of the traditional hero into Foster’s new collection of painted and sculptural works. The hero acts as the central metaphor for Foster’s continuing investigation into morality, the dictatorship of absolutes and how our current political climate negates pluralism in exchange for dogmatic truth.
In “Everyone for Themselves and God Against All”, a cutesy young girl drawn in terse charcoal line, cradles a geometric Z. This motif is elemental within Foster’s practice, extracted from the square jawline of the masculine hero often found delineated within the shorthand of comic books, Foster re-appropriates this motif with esoteric and enigmatic effect. A cast of churlish characters complete with props, populate the canvases; wings, tongues, boots and swans act as cultural idioms that traverse the notion of taste.
It is against this backdrop that Foster sees his painted youths. Compositionally emblematic and on the surface casually executed, they offer a complex syntax that borrows from so called anti-art and populist aesthetics, such as the amusement arcades of the English seaside towns where he grew up, provincial news sources and gift-shop souvenirs, to create a form of semi-satirical resistance against the homogeneity of western cultural orthodoxy, which Foster describes as the embodiment of the fictitious hero itself. Citing Rene Magritte’s Periode Vache as central to this new body of work, he is working under the auspices of pleasure to create a persuasive and paradoxical visual language, rooted in subversion, satire and political commentary.
Grant Foster, born 1982, UK, lives and works in London and graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2012. Foster’s recent solo exhibitions include, Salad Days, Ana Cristea Gallery, New York (2015); Holy Island, Chandelier Projects, London (2014); The Walnut Tree, Chinashop, Oxford (2013). Recent group exhibitions include Carnival Glass, Block 336, London (2015), Rx for Viewing w/Jesse Wine, Ana Cristea Gallery, New York (2014) and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Spike Island, Bristol and ICA, London (2013). Grant Foster was a prizewinner in John Moores 25, Liverpool and will attend The Rome Fellowship in Contemporary Art at The British School of Rome later this year.