Maureen Paley is pleased to present the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Keith Arnatt, focusing on works made between 1967 and 1996.
To highlight Arnatt’s conceptual approach, this survey combines texts, sculptural installation and photographically realised works as well as photographs. Early pieces from the 1960s in the form of artist’s prints are set alongside text pieces and a floor-based sculpture created in accordance with Arnatt’s instruction. The work ‘KEITH ARNATT IS AN ARTIST’ questions the role of the artist as a whole. Arnatt was also interested in expanding the meaning and function of an artwork in terms of its relationship to the discrete acts of bringing a work into being. Of ‘Liverpool Beach Burial’ he says:
‘I was teaching a sculpture course at Manchester College of Art and I discussed with my students the possibility of sculpture’s being what I called “situational”. By this I meant that the focus of attention could be upon what one did with an “object” rather that the object itself. Context itself became the determining factor in what we did. In other words, revealing an aspect of a particular (physical) context became the point of our activity… The focus of attention was on behavior patterns themselves. Both the beach-burial and my “self-burial” piece were the outcome of these kinds of considerations–they were both essentially “behavioristic”.’
Six years: The dematerialisation of the art object from 1966 to 1972 …, Lippard, Lucy R., Praeger 1973, p50.
Later groups of photographs such as ‘Walking the Dog’ and ‘The Forest’ from the 1970’s and 80’s reveal Arnatt’s analytic method of working and emphasise the point at which he adopted the camera as his primary tool for producing art rather than documenting it. Series from this period use an observational style influenced by Arnatt’s awareness of the typological preoccupations of artists and photographers as diverse as Bernd and Hilla Becher and Robert Adams.
Keith Arnatt tackled conventional ideals in photography with rigour and wit, while participating in the emergence of
conceptual art during the 1960s and 1970s. This exhibition seeks to place works from this period within a contemporary context.
An illustrated catalogue, Keith Arnatt works, 1967-1996, accompanies the exhibition.
Keith Arnatt (b. Oxford, United Kingdom, 1930; d. 2008).
Solo exhibitions include: Keith Arnatt: Sausages and Food, Collection In-Focus Display, Tate Britain, London, Spring 2013, Box, Body Burial: The sculptural imagination of Keith Arnatt, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2009; I’m a Real Photographer, The Photographers’ Gallery, London & Glynn Vivian ART Gallery, Swansea, 2007-8©; One foot has not reached the next street, British Council Touring Exhibition, CAYC (Centro de Arte y Comunicación), Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1992; Keith Arnatt, XXI Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 1991©; Rubbish and Recollections, The Photographers’ Gallery, London & Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, 1989; The Forest of Dean, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, 1986; Walking the Dog, Anthony D’Offay Gallery, London, 1979; Looking at Me, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1977; 1970 1220400-0000000, Art & Project, Amsterdam, Holland, 1970; Self-Burial: Television Interference Project, Fernsehgalerie Gerry Schum & Westdeutsches Fernsehen, Düsseldorf, Germany, 1969.
Selected group exhibitions include: Ends of the Earth, MOCA, Los Angeles, USA, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany, 2012©; Modern British Sculpture, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2011, (C);
United Enemies, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2011; 1969, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA, 2009;
How We Are: Photographing Britain, Tate Britain, 2007; Six Feet Under, Autopsie unseres Umgang mit Toten, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 2006; The Gravity in Art, De Appel, Amsterdam, Holland, 2005; Ready to Shoot, Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2004©; Behind the Facts Interfunktionen 1968-75, Fundació Joan Miró, Centre d’Estudis d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona, Spain, then touring, 2003©; Blast to Freeze, British Art in the 20th Century, Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, Germany, then touring, 2002©; Self Evident: the Artist as the Subject 1969-2002, Tate Britain, London, 2002; Conception, Conceptual Documents 1968-1972, Norwich Gallery, Norwich, 2001©; Live In Your Head: Concept and Experiment in Britain 1965-1975, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2001©; Through the Looking Glass: Photographic Art in Britain 1945-1989, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1990©; Arte Inglese Oggi/English Art Today, Pilazzo Reale, Milan, Italy, 1976©; Time, Words and the Camera: Photoworks by British Artists, Kunstlerhaus, Graz, Austria, 1976©; Seven Exhibitions, Tate Gallery, London, 1972; The New Art, Hayward Gallery, London, 1972©; Idea Structures, Camden Arts Centre, London, 1970©; Information, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA, 1970©; 955,000, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver. Canada, 1970©; Environmental Reversal, Camden Arts Centre, London, 1969; Konzeption-Conception, Städtichen Museum, Leverkusen, Germany, 1969©; 557,087, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Canada, 1969©.