The Contemporary Art Society is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of Black Barbed Wire (2013) by Andrew Dadson (b. 1980) for the Norwich Castle Museum. Dadson is a Canadian artist who works with painting, sculpture, photography and performance and is interested in the slippages between them. His works have been exhibited widely across Europe and the US, with recent solo exhibitions including Painting (Organic) (David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, 2015); Over the Sun (Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia, 2015); and The Brink (Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, 2012).
Black Barbed Wire (2013) is part of a series of works situated in the post-industrial outskirts of Vancouver. For the work, Dadson has literally painted the landscape, taking water-based black paint and applying it to hedges, bushes and borders using a spray gun. He then documented his intervention into the landscape through photography, channelling the spirit of 1970s land artists. The black rectangle of Black Barbed Wire recalls both the history of monochromatic painting and graffiti tags, evoking shadow or scorched earth.
Dadson’s work often considers notions of ‘edgelands’ or land areas that exist on the boundary between places of ownership. Ideas of ‘enclosure’ in his work connect to the Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery’s collection of work by the Norwich School Painters, who were concerned by the effects of nineteenth-century government enclosure acts on the Norfolk landscape. In a contemporary context, Black Barbed Wire also alludes to issues around migration and the idea of a promised land lying beyond a border.
This acquisition will mark the first time Dadson’s work has been acquired by a public museum or gallery in the UK. It is a significant international addition to Norwich’s expanding collection of landscape photography by artists such as Mark Edwards and Frances Kearney.
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society with the support of the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society, 2016