16 October - 22 November 2003
Pitzhanger Manor House Gallery, London
Curated by Danielle Arnaud & Matthew Poole
Family Business features the work of 14 artists and will extend throughout the PM Gallery and Pitzhanger Manor-House. Curated by Danielle Arnaud and Matthew Poole.
Family Business presents a varied and diverse range of works, including paintings, sculpture, printmaking, video and installation. The artists in the exhibition explore how their 'authorship' or 'individuality' is expressed as images. Here, artworks are produced that deal with the public face of the personal, private or local. In brief, the thematic of this exhibition is interested in the consequence and legitimacy of 'individual choice' as a genre or style. Hence, Family Business looks to artworks that claim, utilise and reflect upon languages of both the institutional and the personal.
The term 'family business' suggests an idea of groups of individuals with an internal system of rules, who get on with life largely unaffected by the demands of external pressures and laws. Within this observation one might recognise the character of tawdry soap opera, 'Mob-style' or Mafia drama, or even such subversive establishments as the Masonic Lodge. These 'self-ruling' communities don't show power to be an anonymous or faceless force, but something personal and local.
Taking up this theme, the artworks directly explore notions of authority and power in various circumstances, where all the works acknowledge and critique their proximity to the business of traditional and organised power structures. This is played out in poster works by both Ashton and Beech who combine a language of personal choice-making and gesture with recognisable institutional forms of information, advertising and propaganda; in Putler's paintings on enlarged National Lottery scratchcards that mix both an ambivalent and an invested attitude towards the weekly lottery draw; and in Jones' trompe l'oeil wall paintings that make the transient and auxiliary notion of gallery cleaners an irrefutable and even clandestine presence.