Bosse & Baum is offering this work on paper by Luke Burton in support of the Cambridge City Foodbank, proceeds from the sale will be donated to them. The artist is currently on a year-long residency at Girton College, Cambridge. He talks to Emma Cousin about how Covid-19 is affecting his time there and about working in isolation in the podcast Chats in Lockdownhere.
Banana Arms, 2016, is an ink and gouache drawing depicting a coat of arms – the visual symbolically coded language of heraldry – with two bananas within a lozenge as its crest. Traditionally, this codified system has strict rules around colour, composition, form and meaning. Burton gently and humorously disturbs these long-established conventions by having a decorative arrangement that is wilfully ungainly with the bananas drawn like human figures in an awkward embrace. Rather than the harsh lines, strident tone and rigid symmetry of heraldic laws, there are soft edges, a light touch and a muted palette. The drawing could be read as a call to arms so to speak, but whose call is ambiguous, gentle and paradoxically non-confrontational. To acquire this work by Luke Burton please email email@example.com
Luke Burton has an on going interest in how symbolism operates across decorative visual culture, and how the psychological concept of ambivalence plays out across aesthetic and political spheres. The artist questions the relationship between craft, ornament and fine art in relation to taste, objecthood and materiality within painting. He probes how historical and classical visual tropes persist over vast periods of time, suggesting an established symbolic order. His use of repetition of archetypal tropes suggests both an overloaded or denuded image as well as an insistence on meaning, however elusive. In addition to more conventional modes of painting, Burton is also interested in seeing painting as an expanded field, specifically in his use of seemingly anachronistic media such as folding screens or vitreous enamels. These contrasting modes also show Burton’s interest in the idea of scale in relation to painting: the scale of architecture, the human scale, and the scale of the miniature or handheld. How do these various scales create a physical and psychic space for intimacy, alienation, empathy or privilege?
Luke Burton (b. 1983, London, UK) completed his MA at the Royal College of Art, London in 2014. Upcoming exhibitions include: Spoils at Zona Mista Project Space, and a solo show at Girton College, Cambridge and Bosse & Baum, London in 2020. Recent exhibitions include: Podium Sales, Picnic Gallery, London (2019); CAMEO, A-Dash, Athens (2019); Out of Office, PADA, Lisbon (2019); Outlines Roughly the Size of a Suit, Union Gallery, London (2019); Becoming Sweet New Styles, Bosse & Baum, London (2018); Sweep / Landskip, Kinokino Kunstal, Stavanger, Norway (2018); The Lotus Eaters, Aindrea Contemporary, London (2018); Granpalazzo, Ariccia, Rome (2017); Print Department, Division of Labour, London (2017); Waves, Turf Projects, London (2017). From 2019 to 2020 Luke Burton will be Artist-in-Residence as a Visiting Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge.