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A Kind of Bliss Catalogue



A Kind of Bliss was a group exhibition at Drawing Room celebrating the visceral power of colour, exploring its relationship to drawing in the work of Polly Apfelbaum, Katy Dove, Lily van der Stokker and the twentieth century historic predecessor, Len Lye. This exhibition seeks to question historical debates in which intellectual, moral and aesthetic supremacy is attributed to line over colour.

These artists revel in the use of colour, delighting in its seductive, celebratory and at times chaotic nature. Roland Barthes describes the sensuous, intoxicating power of colour, so feared by its detractors; ‘Colour…is a kind of bliss…like a closing eyelid, a tiny fainting spell’. These artists use line and form in harmony with colour rather than in opposition and attempt to marry the formal and conceptual in works that make conspicuous the trace of the artist’s hand.

Polly Apfelbaum was born in 1955 and lives in New York. She has exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe; a current major solo exhibition is touring to the ICA, Philadelphia, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City. Katy Dove was born in 1970 in Oxford. She had a solo exhibition at Transmission, Glasgow in 2000 and was included in the 50th Biennale di Venezia and ‘Lightbox’, Art Now, Tate Britain, 2003. Len Lye was born in New Zealand in 1901 and moved to London in the late 1920s. He was a major figure in experimental filmmaking as well as a leading kinetic sculptor and an innovative theorist, painter and writer. He died in New York in 1980. Lily van der Stokker was born in 1954 and lives in Amsterdam and New York. She has exhibited internationally, currently with a major installation at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne. This will be the first time that Apfelbaum and van der Stokker’s work has been exhibited in a public space in London.

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