Richard Galpin: Slow Boom

Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York

October 29th - December 12th, 2015

(photos right: John Muggenborg)

In Slow Boom, a phalanx of metal structures creeps across the gallery walls. Nicknamed "crawlers," these radiating strips of steel form the artist's most recent investigations of urban growth. Assembled from actual building materials, the works have been hand-painted and precisely arranged to suggest two omnipresent features of construction: cranes and scaffolding. The crawlers, which can be configured in a finite number of variations, expand or contract to fill available space. They evoke both the dynamic energy of a bustling metropolis, and the movement of an active construction site. Similar to the way cities are shaped by rapid cycles of growth and destruction, Galpin's installation is a living organism that thrives with change.

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Slow Boom invites comparison with early 20th century avant-garde movements that evolved in response to sociopolitical upheaval. Significant influences are British Vorticists David Bomberg and Edward Wadsworth, who represented the modern urban environment of World War I-era Britain. A preoccupation with truth to materials, or Faktura, and spatial presence, or Tektonika, also connects Galpin to the legacy of Constructivism. Like these artists before him, Galpin acts as an urban anthropologist, exploring the social implications of modernity, fragmented city life, and accelerated change. His use of industrial materials provokes discourse on construction's cultural associations, and his interpretation of the form and movement of machinery draws attention to the performativity of labor. 

Richard Galpin (b. 1975, Cambridgeshire, UK) holds a BA from the University of the West of England and a MA from Goldsmiths College (2001). Solo exhibitions include Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, MN; Brancolini Grimaldi Arte Contemporanea, Rome; Galeria Leme, São Paulo; Roebling Hall, New York, NY; and Hales Gallery, London. Galpin's work can be found in the collections of many esteemed institutions, including the British Government Art Collection, UK; British Museum, UK; Victoria & Albert Museum, UK; Zabludowicz Art Trust, London; and Deutsche Bank Collection, UK. In 2010, he completed a public commission, Viewing Station, for the High Line in New York City. Galpin lives and works in London.