Luhring Augustine is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by David Musgrave. This marks the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and comprises drawing, sculpture, and digital animation. Throughout his work, Musgrave explores the uncertainties of representation, expression, and process.
Maintaining the exactitude of detail and technical precision characteristic of his earlier work, Musgrave undertakes a larger format in a number of his new drawings of imagined surfaces, which he describes as existing somewhere between panels and veils. The subjects of these drawings resemble discarded sheets of board or paper that have been torn, creased, faded, stained, or scored with a blade, or else appear to show markings embossed from the surface’s verso. In Musgrave’s words, “the drawn planes are ideational objects that assert physicality, or fantasies of the material that show that materiality is also a particular category of fantasy.” The objects that Musgrave renders take form in his imagination; while he may rely on a preliminary model as a point of departure for some of the drawings, others have no possible external referent – Spirit plane is folded in a way that no actual sheet of paper could be. In several instances the works project the future of these virtual objects, forecasting the structural and surface damage that they might suffer.
Musgrave’s sculptures refract the conditions of their making through a distorting lens. Machinic figure no. 2 is an aluminum construction developed from a crude maquette, which replicates and refines the flaws inherent in the original. Glue golem is a fluid figure on the edge of formlessness that has been cast in resin, a material that behaves similarly to the one referenced in the work’s title but maintains its own particular properties. In Autofigures, his new digital animation, Musgrave fuses the imaginative potential of digital production with the utilitarian aesthetic of diagrams in a sequence where scraps and waste on his studio desk spontaneously form sculptures or quasi-living beings. Uniting the new body of work is a preoccupation with reduction, which is exemplified by the impoverished, cancelled, and semi-human figure that reappears throughout; for Musgrave, “stripping things out is expression in reverse.”
David Musgrave was born in Stockton-on-Tees, England, and lives and works in London. He has recently had solo exhibitions at greengrassi, London and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles and his work has been featured in a number of exhibitions at institutions throughout Europe and the Americas, including Kunstverein Freiburg; Tate Britain, London; CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO. Musgrave’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; and Tate, London. In January 2013 Musgrave’s digital animation Studio golem was broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.