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Devlin Shea, Getting Closer, Studio view of work in progress, 2018. Courtesy the artist

Annotations 5: Devlin Shea

22 November 2018 - 17 March 2019

Getting Closer

Drawing Room is delighted to announce its fifth Annotations commission by London-based artist Devlin Shea. Oversized figures fill Shea’s large drawings and paintings and spill out of the edges. These theatrically scaled works, and smaller drawings in black and coloured ink on paper, describe physical sensations and emotions, for example crying, holding hands and embracing.

‘Drawings are places where I work through impressions, images, emotional experiences and visual intensities.’

Shea’s Annotations commission explores her experience of spending time with books in Outset Study. The artist has selected materials that imbue the work with the sensation of handling books and leafing through them: ‘I wanted the materials to feel tactile, similar to picking up a book and the level of intimacy that can unfold’. The scale and materials employed in Getting Closer are also influenced by the formative experience of cinema for the artist. The drawing is made on acetate which floats in the space. Light reflects off this plastic screen and visible through the transparent veil are a range of smaller scale works of disembodied heads, made with ink on paper. The multilayered quality of the installation reflects the artist’s interest in the complexity of human relationships. 

Devlin Shea is an American artist who lives and works in London. She gained an MFA, Slade School of Fine Art, London (2016) and a BFA in Painting and Video, Alfred University, Alfred, New York (1998). Select solo exhibitions include Third Eye, Surplus Space, Wuhan, China (2017); Contours of a migration, So lon, Sauða rkro kur, Iceland (2013); and Googled Emotional Connections, Carina Bjö rck Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (2010). Recent group exhibitions include Bloomberg New Contemporaries, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Block 336 (2017 - 2018); These Rotten Words, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff (2017); Hands On, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong (2017) On Drawing: Apperceive of Liberation, Wuhan Art Museum, Wuhan, China (2016); Overall Award, Exeter Contemporary (2016); and Screen Time, Assembly Point, London (2016). 

Annotations is a series of artist commissions for Drawing Room’s Outset Study. Including 6 artists over a 3-year period, each artist undertakes a period of supported residency, researching the library collection to create a work for Outset Study - using the wall, the space, or intervening within the library collection itself. 

Annotations Outset Study Commissions are supported by Veronique Parke and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.