Eric Bainbridge opens his first solo exhibition in over 10 years on 28 September at Camden Arts Centre. The sculptor brings together a series of new sculptural works made from steel amongst other materials. Using steel for the first time, Bainbridge aligns himself closer with the 50s and 60s modernist abstraction embodied by sculptors, David Smith and Anthony Caro. Combining both formal and surprising elements, these new works highlight the duality that has characterised Bainbridge’s career.
Bainbridge started making steel sculptures as an extension of his recent collages where he used cut-outs from lifestyle magazines to create a collection of works overlaying disparate imagery to shocking and hilarious affect. This work related back to the visual puns and explotation of everyday materials associated with the Surrealists, Dadaists and Constructivits, and Steel Sculptures continue this theme as they reference the process of creating collage while resolutely becoming sculptures. Put together with a combination of stock and reclaimed steel, along with other found elements including lurid velour and woollen blankets, the sculptures could be described as 3D collages. Bainbridge notes, “I now have a series of elements which are new to my practice- heavy imagery and use of colour in opposition to another structure.”
Since the late 70s Bainbridge has had an interest in the surface of things and his works have often taken advantage of various materials, including fake fur and wood effect melamine. His preferred objects and materials are found in everyday life- in second hand shops, DIY stores, materials that are generally available and cheap. Bainbridge’s work reconsiders the value and status of these everyday objects, placing them within the centre of his creations via various manipulations, for example, objects blown up out of proportion, objects covered to disguise, and objects piled on top of one another. Installation, video and photography also feature in Bainbridge’s work, creating an ever expanding medium that incorporates society’s constant changes.
Eric Bainbridge, Steel Sculptures, Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London, NW3 6DG
1. Untitled 2009, courtesy of Eric Bainbridge.
2. Bobble Bubble, courtesy of Eric Bainbridge.
3. Greenline, courtesy of Eric Bainbridge.