Rachel Lowe: First upon the eyes

12 May – 4 June 2022

OPENING Thursday 12 May

PALFREY is thrilled to present First Upon the Eyes, a solo exhibition by Rachel Lowe. The exhibition focuses on the video work Her Hard Forehead (2016), which is presented alongside a new series of collages.

In an attempt to degrade and confuse the image, Her Hard Forehead employs a deliberate regression of technology. Switching between analogue and digital, it follows a reverse trajectory which seeks to obscure rather than clarify, so that the moving image on the screen becomes ultimately less decipherable and less believable than it was at its starting point. Drawing attention to the physicality of the monitor as an object, the work also questions the relationship between viewer and screen.

The collages utilise a similar disruption to the two-dimensional surface of the image. Each one begins with a found image of a face. This is then altered in such a way that our understanding of the subject disintegrates and attention is drawn instead to our reliance on a general flow of images and our unconscious investment in the identities they construct.

Rachel Lowe’s solo projects have included: Split, Narrative Projects, London, 2020; A is for Analogue, (with Gavin Wade), Narrative Projects, 2017; Rachel Lowe, Narrative Projects, 2015; Rickshaw No. 1 (Two Times Three), Narrative Gallery, London, 2014; Revolving Woman, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, 2013; Wake, Dilston Grove, London, 2011; Rachel Lowe, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, 2002 and 18-9-59, The Showroom, London, 2001. Her work was recently included in My Name is not Refugee, Firstsite, Colchester, 2020; previous group exhibitions have included Idle Hands: Tricks in the Art of Doing, The Chopping Block, London, 2018; Painting as Film, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, 2016; Revolver Part 3, Matts Gallery, London, 2012; Independence, South London Gallery, 2003; British Art Show 5, Edinburgh and touring, 2000; Speed, The Photographers Gallery/ Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1998. Her work appears in the current exhibition Reframed: Woman in the Window at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 2022, and is included in a number of collections, such as Arts Council, British Council, the Norton Collection and Tate. Rachel Lowe lives and works in London.

Her Hard Forehead, 2016, single channel looped video, JVC monitor, shelf, cardboard
First Upon the Eyes #5, 2021, collage with oil pastel on paper, 84.1 x 59.5 cm framed

photography: Damian Griffiths

© PALFREY 2022