Esther Windsor

I'm a Virgin

Reza Arameshi, Heike Baranowsky, Sue de Beer, David Campany, Chris Chiappa, John Patrick Clayman,
Angela de la Cruz, Nicole Eisenman, Oliver Irwin, Kelly Lamb, Laura Parnes, James Rielly, Jamie Robinson,
David C Scher, Guy Richards Smit, Paul Winstanley, Sonia Zelic.

The Waiting Room
School of Art and Design
University of Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton WV1 1SB

Curated by Esther Windsor

21.1.99 - 3.3.99

Ghostly white postcards. As I look at them now, the girls are blissfully unaware of the wall of death that will change their Sunday best but not it’s colour, a few short years ahead. They will become nurses, factory girls, maybe even engineers or aviators. Behind the postcard there is white. Behind the painting there is white ground.

Derek Jarman from ‘White Lies’ in Chroma. 1995

The fascination and will to purity, often invested in the colour white, has accelerated at the end of the twentieth century. Fundamentalism, born again virgins, extreme iconic gestures, fashion reaching into it’s abject - the body, minimalism, modernism, the white cube, hysteria of the new, purity of food, protection and investment in the ‘innocence’ of the child…

I’m a Virgin plays with the naiveté of innocence, purity and the symbolism of white in the use of drawing, painting, photography, film and video. A milky sky, snow covered mountains, the white picket fence and girls cotton knickers. An empty white room of shadows - killing time, winter pure and chaste, the white washed family, a bridal veil to hide sins and promises. Through an intimate ‘realism’, I’m a virgin presents a familiar visual image where reality is rendered with a purity which is both super real and unreal. Whilst white evokes purity it also suggests the stain. The artists here point to complex moral issues in everyday experience, with work that reminds us that new becomes old; virginity lost, white sullied, truth intangible, purity polluted, and modernism an old dynamic.

I’m a Virgin profiles new American artists: Sue de Beer, Chris Chiappa, Oliver Irwin, Kelly Lamb, Laura Parnes, David C Scher and Guy Richards Smit, from New York and L.A. Heike Baranowsky, John Patrick Clayman and Sonia Zelic are recent graduates showing in New Contemporaries 97. Paul Winstanley will be having a solo show at Interim Art, from 7th February 1999.

Thanks to Anthony Wilkinson for the work of Angela de la Cruz, Laurent Delaye for James Rielly and Jack Tilton, New York, for Nicole Eisenman.

List of works

Reza Arameshi
Pencil on Envelopes 1998
Edition of three

Heike Baranowsy
Insight Out 1998
computer animation on VHS video

Sue de Beer
Inside 1998
photograph from negative

Sue de Beer
Untitled 1998
photograph from negative

David Campany 1998
June 1997
photograph from negative

Chris Chiappa 1999
I want to fuck and kill
C type photograph laminated on plexi glass
edition of five

John Patrick Clayman
Infinity 1998
photograph from negative on opalescent acrylic

Angela de la Cruz
Ready To Wear White 1997
oil on canvas
Courtesy of Anthony Wilkinson : London

Nicole Eisenman
Drawing on Magazine Advertisement 1998
courtesy of Jack Tilton : New York

Oliver Irwin 1998
Oblivious To Romance
oil on canvas

Kelly Lamb
Jump Rope 1998
16mm film
transfer to VHS Video

Laura Parnes
No is Yes
VHS video

James Rielly
Blue Skies 1997
oil on canvas
Courtesy of Laurent Delaye

Jamie Robinson
Tomoko 1998
photograph from negative

David C Scher
painting and drawing 1998

Guy Richards Smit
water colour, gouache and ink on paper 1998

Paul Winstanley
Study For Lounge 1998
oil on linen

Sonia Zelic
series 1998
16mm film installation