For the Special Projects Section at ARTINTERNATIONAL, Istanbul 2015, Tenderpixel presents a solo project by London based artist, Richard Healy.
Healy’s work encompasses a number of media including video, sculpture, installation and print, and often originates from biographies and literature about crucial architecture and design personalities. Central to Healy’s work is the role of function. Embodied through simulations of design, his practice frequently engages with digital technology as a means for artistic production and with it the acts of labour that are obscured beneath the finish.
Revolving around the video piece, The Pines, the exhibition consists of an installation with various elements, such as gouache painting, mouth-blown glass works and a weathervane, all within a two part display structure.
The Pines is a video that stems from Richard Healy’s larger exploration of the work of the modernist architect Horace Gifford (1932–92), and specifically the beach houses on Fire Island. Similar to an architectural fly-through, the film acts as a virtual tour of an imaginary amalgamate space based on Gifford’s designs. The houses, each an elegant ensemble of 3D geometries, were uniquely tailored to host a heady, hedonistic lifestyle, simultaneously sat lightly in the sand dune topography there, anticipating sustainability in their timber structures. Gifford’s architecture serves Healy as a footprint and guide for a wider investigation into ideas around function, gay cruising and design. Structures include conversation pits, communal outdoor showers, make-out and voyeurs lofts. In the exhibition, the metal weathervane placed within the environment perpetuates the thoughts on the relation between outdoor and indoor. Healy’s references reflect a golden period in the history of Fire Island and the spirit of the pre-AIDS, post-Stonewall queer lifestyle.
The video work is embedded in a display structure that choreographs analogous movements to the architecture itself. The monitors on which the virtual reality of The Pines appear are part of the two part structure that appears to be an extension of the space within the film. The platforms are also holding sinuous clear-glass bottles, each blown and hand-crafted to include fetishistic elements. The film and the glass works are presented together with metal whistles, functioning as props in the stages that Gifford’s architecture suggests.
Undoubtedly, the idea of materiality is always present in Healy’s work— within digital rendering, objects escape the gravity of the computer screen and are turned into sculptures. The choice of materials, such as mouth blown glass, echoes their digital origins, and recalls the subtle sensuosity of spaces and ambients in the video The Pines.These choices were repeated in the process of creating the playful gouache paintings, inspired by the work and the personality of interior designer Angelo Donghia: mounted in the frames with architectural glass, they deny any physicality of the paper.
Richard Healy (b 1980, London UK) lives and works in London. He completed his MA in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, London in 2008.
Residencies and Awards include Fire Station Live/Work Programme, Acme Studios (2015 – 2020); Defining Pi, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge UK (July – Sept, 2013); i- land artist in residence, London / Worcester UK (Jun – Aug, 2009); Stanley Picker Fellowship, Kingston University (1 year residency program, 2008); Red Mansion Art Prize (Beijing Residency) Beijing CN (Sept – Oct, 2008).
Recent solo exhibitions include The Great Indoors, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdan NL (2017); Lubricants & Literature, Tenderpixel, London UK (2016); Zodiac Beach, LRRH, Berlin DE (2016); Victor Hugo Lost in Cherry Grove, with Tenderpixel at Art International, Istanbul TR (2015); Outside the Red House, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam NL (2015); The Pines, White Cubicle, London UK (2014); Prone Positions, Rowing, London UK (2013); Vetiver, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam NL; But Mr Architect!, Furnished Space, London UK (both 2012) and Strategies for Building, Outpost, Norwich UK (2011).
Selected group exhibitions and screenings include The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London UK (2018); I like to fondle, Acme Fire Station, London UK (2017); Cruising Spaces, LUX, London UK (2017); Now We Are Six, Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam NL (2016); The Ultimate Vessel, Koppe Astner, Glasgow UK (2016); Discursive Objects, WAH Gallery, Eindhoven NL (2015); Blurred Edges: Non/Fiction, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle US, as part of the Black Box Festival, (2015); The Best Tailor in Town, Hunt Kastner, Prague CH (2015); On the Devolution of Culture, Rob Tufnell, London UK (2014); Last Seen Entering the Biltmore (curated by Anna Gritz), South London Gallery, London UK; I love you Me either, Project Native Informant London UK (both 2014); SECCESSONE (curated by Rhys Coren, Paul Flannery & Attilia Fattori Franchini), bubblebyte.org (2013); Blue Lagoon (curated by Candice Jacobs), One Thornesby Street, Nottingham UK (2013); One and One and One, CGP London UK (2012); Forth & Back, Limoncello, London UK; Florence Loewy, Paris FR; 10,000 Hours, Glasgow International, Glasgow UK; YBAII (curated by Ryan Gander and Christina von Rotenhan), Dienstgebaude, Zurich CH (all 2012).
Publications include Lubricants & Literature (2017), published with Tenderbooks and Tenderpixel, with writings by Sasha Craddock and Chris McCormack, launched at OFFPRINT London, Tate Modern, London UK (2017) and NY Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1, New York USA (2017).