29 January – 6 March 2010
A ship sails the ocean. It left Boston with a cargo of wool. It grosses 200 tonnes. It is bound for Le Havre. The mainmast is broken, the cabin boy is on deck, there are 12 passengers aboard, the wind is blowing East-North-East, the clock points to a quarter past three in the afternoon. It is the month of May. How old is the captain?
Gustave Flaubert (excerpt from a letter to his sister Caroline, March 15, 1843)
Josh Lilley Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of the first London exhibition of work by American artist Michael Huey.
Story Problems focuses on archival materials — photographs, papers, objects — presented anew as the outcome of the artist's subtle interventions. An 1870s watercolour miniature, ruined by spilled wine; a young girls sketches of the night sky; an anonymous, enigmatic 1940s Kodachrome slide of a bus driver and three passengers on a beach. Seemingly random, these and other images build groups of works whose interior and exterior narratives connect in ways both calculated and complex. Like snapshots in an album, the stories refer to each other, magnifying implications.
Many of the works in the exhibition share a concern for exposure: of images that would otherwise be hidden from public view; of instances in which photography, painting and draughtsmanship briefly coincide; of the important role played by the human hand in early photographic technique; and of the development of manipulation from analogue to digital. In confronting preconceptions of boundaries within the medium, Huey's works reveal as much about photography in times past as they do its position today.
Story Problems is the first in a planned series of exhibitions in which the gallery invites a curator to propose an artist whose work somehow complements or challenges the existing gallery programme. Story Problems is a collaboration with the Vienna-based writer and curator, Jasper Sharp.
Michael Huey (b. 1964, Michigan, USA) lives and works in Vienna. Recent exhibitions include the solo shows Don't Say Things, at KUNSTHALLE Vienna, 2009; and Keep in Safe Place, at Newman Popiashvili Gallery, New York, 2007; and the group show The Red Thread, at Galerie Dana Charkasi, Vienna, 2009.