Works from the 70s
PALFREY gladly presents Works from the 70s by Gerard Hemsworth. Widely known over the last two decades for his cool yet anxious line drawings and paintings, Gerard Hemsworth first came to public attention in the early 1970s through his text works. Concerned with the reflexive relationship between art and its audience, these works are typically presented as written propositions relating one concept to another. The nine works showing at PALFREY were produced in 1973 and subsequently published by Jack Wendler in 1974 to coincide with a solo exhibition at his gallery in London. In each of these pieces a sequence of texts printed in black culminates in the repeated refrain-like designation, printed in red, that reads: ‘ANY REALISATION WHICH CONSTITUTES AN AREA BETWEEN ONESELF AND REALITY’. The works thus seem to combine an overt clarity of phrasing with a persistent ambiguity of address. “Whilst I believe artists should take full responsibility for what they produce,” Hemsworth has stated, “I do not believe they should have to justify it. In art, questions are undoubtedly more interesting than answers; it is the job of the artist to develop the quality of the question and its ability to sustain engagement.” By the end of the 1970s Hemsworth would come to pose the questions more in relation to the complications of picturing. But the earlier moment revisited in the PALFREY show is perhaps one in which the conditions for forming questions are themselves at stake.
Gerard Hemsworth was born in London in 1945. From 1963-68 he studied at St Martin’s School of Art, London. Solo exhibitions have included: Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London, 1970; Presenting things as they are, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford,1972; X-One Gallery, Antwerp 1973; Jack Wendler Gallery, London, 1974; Robert Self Gallery, London, 1976; Object/Object, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, 1979; Key, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 1981; Not Until Viable/ Not Unless Valid, Kabinett für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremerhaven, 1981; ICA, London,1986; Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, 1987; Financial Times, Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London, 1989; Believing in God, ‘tleerhuys Galerij, Bruges, 1993; Strictly Suburban, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, 1998; A Question of Rhetoric, Galeria Luis Serpa Projectos, Lisbon, 2007; Hidden Agenda, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut, 2009; Blacklands, Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Cologne, 2011; Desert Gardens, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2013; Nothing to Declare, Matts Gallery, London, 2015; Chen Chi Art Museum, Wuxi, China, 2019