Stephen Appleby-Barr, Toronto 1981
Heavy Lemons, 2020
ExhibitionsLondon, Robilant+Voena, Stephen Appleby-Barr: New Work, April–May 2021.
While casts of ancient and renaissance sculpture used to be at the heart of teaching at prestigious art schools, they have fallen out of fashion, and Clytius was found languishing in the women’s bathroom. Appleby-Barr was drawn to this example of a dramatic fall in status, and determined to celebrate the cast in a painting.
Clytius was killed by the goddess Hecate’s flaming torches, and this element of the story prompted Appleby-Barr to construct a sort of pyre, topping the sculpture’s head in what can be read as a crown or perhaps an insult. With the addition of the lemons, it looks more like a nest of acidic eggs, with one golden egg at the centre. The cast is lit with a strong and dramatic light, emphasising the figure’s head and casting strong shadows. It is speckled with red conservators’ wax, balancing the colours in the composition.
The painting produces a whimsical mix of fairy tale and myth, ambiguous allusions leading the viewer in never-ending circles.
The artwork described above is subject to changes in availability and price without prior notice.
Where applicable ARR will be added.