Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to present Put Down Your Stars, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Birmingham-based artist Clayton Colvin. Like a work of fiction, Colvin’s works seem to transport the viewer from their present space, placing them instead onto rich planes where dimensions of space appear to fold and transform. Incorporating elements of drawing, collage and mixed media, the artist is interested in finding order within works that seem restless and constantly in flux.
In Afterlife Techniques (2013), the artist deploys softness in his application of color absorbed into linen. The sense of space within the composition, particularly the ordering of what is the foreground and what is behind, is complicated by the gently floating hues of blues, yellows and tan. Cut planes and linear elements add tension against the rippling background, further disorienting the viewer’s ability to ground themself in a set pattern.
The spatial confusion and tension is purposeful; despite the abstract nature of his work, they are a nod to our contemporary lifestyles, where distraction is commonplace and the benefit of images, information, sounds and ideas conveniently available at our fingertips becomes questionable. The desire to sift and find clarity is ever present in his work, as if perhaps, if we could just make sense and feel control of the space on his pictorial plane, then we may translate this same feeling of comfort into our daily experience.
Clayton Colvin (b. 1976) lives and works in Birmingham, AL. He received his BA in Art History from New York University in 1999 and his MFA in painting from the University of Alabama in 2005. His work has been exhibited by galleries and museums across the United States including the Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, AL), the Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, AL), and Artist Space (New York, NY) amongst others. Recent solo exhibitions include beta pictoris gallery (Birmingham, AL), Launch F18 (New York, NY) and the University of Memphis Art Museum (Memphis, TN). Colvin’s work is included in the public collections of the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), The Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, AL), and the Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, Al). Reviews of his work have appeared in Art in America, San Francisco Arts Quarterly, ARTPAPERS and many others.