Galvanised steel and brass
32.3 x 58.5 x 34 cm
Some of the last century's greatest and most tragic love stories revolve around artistic couples: Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin; Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre; Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner; Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas; Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz; Picasso and Dora Maar; and Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. Creativity, since the advent of Modernism, has most often been associated with an individual's (usually) solitary struggle for self-expression. However, the complexities and difficulties of partnerships and collaborations provide a wider and more compelling field of analysis. How have such partnerships redefined sexual stereotypes and enriched the work of both artists?
Feminist scholars, previously concentrating on the constraints placed upon familial and gender roles within relationships, are increasingly interested in the richness and fluidity of these interactions; the support and respect shared by such creative couples. Traditional systems of intellectual and domestic support are no longer so rigidly defined.
Sweethearts provides a platform for creative couples to collaborate on a piece of work. Using their individual respective practices - artist, writer, curator, composer or architect - participants will create unique collective works. The only parameter for the brief is that each work be jointly negotiated, conceptualised and created. The resulting work - photography, sculpture, or video - will examine the condition of working together, the quiet influence that one partner has exerted upon the other, and the cross fertilisation of ideas and techniques that may have crept into each other's practice. Artist duos who collaborate in their day to day practice will not be included.
The exhibition is co-curated by gallery owner, Pippy Houldsworth, and writer, lecturer and curator Kathy Battista, whose interest in collaborative practice stems from her PhD dissertation, Women's Work: Feminist Artists in 1970s London, undertaken at the London Consortium. Kathy is Director of Contemporary Art, Sotheby's Institute, New York; writes a regular column for Art Monthly; and her new book, NY New Wave, is to be published June 2012.
For further information please contact Pippy Houldsworth on 020 8741 7258, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kathy Battista on email@example.com.