Southampton City Art Gallery
Steven Claydon (b.1969) trained as a painter and currently works with sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, film and performance. Claydon has had recent solo exhibitions at Sadie Coles HQ, London (2016) and at both the Bergen Kunsthall and the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva (both 2015). He has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, with major solo exhibitions at Firstsite, Colchester (2012); La Salle de Bains, Lyon (2011); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2010) and work included in exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Tate, London; Nottingham Contemporary; and Maison Particulière, Brussels. In 2013 he was commissioned to make a new work that was shown at various locations on the High Line public park in New York.
Claydon reinterprets the objects, images and texts through which ‘cultural baggage’ has been communicated and rewrites history as a series of ‘what ifs’. His fusion of old and new is mysterious and tantalising, and he jumbles the usual categorising of high and low culture. His pieces contain clues, symbols, images and texts from familiar sources that combine to create confusion and disruption. Of the work Trespasses and Dust (2010), the artist states: ‘to put it simply, it’s to do with the way memories manifest themselves and the way they mutate and sometimes crassly impose themselves into the “now”.‘
In context, with other contemporary works on paper in the Southampton City Art Gallery collection, this example of Claydon’s work will perfectly compliment a strong and growing nucleus of fine contemporary works. Claydon was not previously represented at the institution and the piece is an exciting contribution to the gallery’s collection.
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society with the support of an anonymous donor, 2015