Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roy Arden - The Homosexual Who Wrecked an Empire

Life's Rich Tapestry, 2009

Roy Arden

The Homosexual Who Wrecked an Empire

7 October - 12 November, 2011

Brancolini Grimaldi is delighted to announce Roy Arden's first solo exhibition in London; a Wunderkammer of new work including collages, drawings, paintings, sculpture and video. One of Canada’s most respected artists, Arden is perhaps most well known in the UK for his photographic work from the 1990s that depicted the changing urban landscape o...f Vancouver as the city was being transformed by re-development with the boom in real estate. Arden has described these photographs works “ battle scenes, like war landscapes, but it’s the economic war,”

Over the last decade Arden has widened his artistic practice to include collages, videos, paintings, sculpture and web-based projects. However, even though his working practice is becoming more diverse, certain themes continue to run though his work. These are history, modernity and the archive. Arden has created his own immense archive of images, that he has collected from newspapers, magazines and the internet that he continually uses in his different series of works. One work in particular, the web-based project made in 2004 entitled The World as Will and Representation, included over 28,000 jpegs, and is now recognized as a seminal work.

Driven by a personal necessity, Arden delves into the trash heap of history for images that reveal something about how and why we arrived at our present predicament. Arden’s paper collages are intimate in scale and seem to channel the history of collage while entertaining various subjects through their kaleidoscope of cut and torn fragments. His digital collages are generally more orderly and speak of the need to archive and its attendant folly. Arden’s more recent paintings and drawings present singular images in a graphic style similar to early Pop Art but always with critical intent. His recent sculptures, constructed from discarded, often rusty objects, appear as though they are the idiosyncratic creations of a bricoleur or rag & bone man with spare time and imagination. This exhibition will also premiere a new video projection entitled Jalopy (2011) which features an antique wind-up Model A Ford toy performing a seemingly demonic routine.

Roy Arden was born in Vancouver in 1957. He completed a Masters of Fine Arts degree under Jeff Wall at the University of British Columbia in 1990. His work can be found in numerous public collections in North America and Europe, including The National Gallery of Canada, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart. He has exhibited in dozens of international exhibitions from New York to Sharjah and Berlin to Sydney. In 2007 the Vancouver Art Gallery mounted a survey show of his work covering the period 1981-2007. His last exhibition in the UK was a survey of works from 1985-2000 at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham in 2006.

Arden’s work can be viewed on his website at and his image blog at

For more images from the exhibition go to: