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James Johnson Perkins - 50 Robots

“I spent my whole youth building imaginary universes with children’s building blocks”. James Johnson-Perkins

James Johnson-Perkins (born Dover, 1972) has tirelessly explored the media of children toys and produced a remarkably varied body of work, including playfully digitalized images, nostalgic computer graphics prints, gestural and chromatic abstractions and chart grid model. In November 2008, EXHIBIT at Golden Lane Estate presents “50 Robots”, a major solo show by British artist James Johnson-Perkins comprising of three new bodies of works that are sure to thrill. On the ground gallery space, Johnson-Perkins will display 50 new pieces of robot sculptures and furniture especially developed for EXHIBIT. These are composed by Megablock’s 2,800 construction bricks. For the basement installation, he has created two video projections using 8-bit computer graphics that beautifully explore the binary information shaped by animated geometric shapes. Alongside the video, akin to a three dimensional structuralism painting, is the third collection of work made up of a series of new paintings and megablock structures which, coincidently share the vision of Sarah Sze and Malevich, are essentially exploring spatial dynamics, colour relationship and geometry.
“50 Robots” is a continuation of Johnson-Perkins’ sculptural project developed since 2002. A close inspection on Johnson-Perkin’s megablock chart grid structure reveals the proximity and representation of the Swiss artist Paul Klee, especially with his work “Ancient Sound. Abstract on Black” (1925), which is characterized by “a rhythmic structure of squares and rectangles, assembled in a single musical movement in accordance with some visible law’ (Grohmann, W. 1967, p.102). Additionally Johnson-Perkins’ colorful megablock structures with these bright chromatic geometry adeptly arranged in a grid formation has created a remarkably stunning sheet of kaleidoscopic colour that transcends his favorite 80’s music into a visible form.
Johnson-Perkins’s oeuvre can be described as a nostalgia trip. His robots are in different sizes, colors and characters, which have powerful relationships between them. This new body of work concurs with the 1960’s Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans presentation but in addition Johnson-Perkins creates the attraction and curiosity of involving the viewer to discover the particularity amongst individual robot and take us on a journey that invites the audience to have a direct dialogue with different aspect of the artist’s psyche.
The private view event will feature a performance by James Johnson-Perkins entitled ‘John Peel’. This involves the artist artfully merge himself in alliance with the robots and orchestrating his favorite 80’s records, including tracks by: The Human League, Pet Shop Boys, New Order and Bros.
Video by: Dan Canyon

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