Text and image meet, clash and play off each other in this new exhibition of the work of pioneering conceptual artist Victor Burgin (b.1941) at the Richard Saltoun Gallery, from 1 November- 6 December. Burgin’s first solo exhibition at a private gallery in London since 1986, this new show races back to the early days and paper-based works of the 1960s and his breakthrough to prominence as an originator of Conceptual Art, through the 1970s and 1980s, up to today.
Focusing on his radical intervention into mainstream media through the interplay between the visual and textual, On Paper launches from his key work When Attitudes Become Form (1969) at the ICA London. It then goes on to pay close attention to deconstructed photographic images, such as Framed (1977) which subverts a Marlboro cigarette campaign, and Possession (1976), a series of 500 posters installed throughout Newcastle upon Tyne, showing a man and woman embracing next to the statement “What does possession mean to you?/ 7% of our population own 84% of our wealth”.
Exploring the conventions and rhetoric of the images in the mass media, operating both on the gallery wall and the printed page in poster, book and magazine form, Burgin revels in straddling the boundaries between “visual art” and “theory”, “image” and “narrative”, in a way that makes reader and text interact, work together and create constant and engaged dialogue.
Victor Burgin: On Paper, 1-6 November, Richard Saltoun Gallery, 111 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 6RY.
Possession, 1975, Victor Burgin.