Alistair Frost, Simone Gilges and Matthew Smith

​Studio Voltaire presented a three-person exhibition of new works by Alistair Frost, Simone Gilges and Matthew Smith. Although the artists each displayed an autonomous body of work, their shared approach deals with a variety of media, exploring signs and codes, and playing with (dis)associations, meanings and hidden narratives.

  1. ​Alistair Frost (b. 1981) lives and works in Gloucestershire. The artist employs imagery depicting a series of recurring images, symbols and signs, combining elemental codes to construct word games, rebuses and connections between words and their visual representation. There is little relation between the quantity or accumulation of these motifs and an understanding of the picture when assembled. Simple motifs which are often rooted in surrealism, such as the umbrella or the bowler hat becomes a palm tree, or martini glass, or a woman’s groin repeatedly feature in Frosts’ paintings, drawings, prints and slide-shows.

    Simone Gilges (b. 1973, Bonn, Germany) is an artist based in Berlin who works with photography and fabrics to create sculptural reliefs and installation works. Recent works include portraits swathed in cloth alongside objects which exist to compliment the initial significance of the photographs. In her installations, Gilges provides specific moods to suggest techniques of disguise, and questions staged and real scenarios. The combination of single photographs with objects and draperies distort the chronological and historical meanings. Gilges suggests and implies on subjects of social behaviour without providing the spectator with a clear narrative.

    Matthew Smith’s (b. 1976, Wakefield) sculptural work is predominantly made from everyday objects, which he then manipulates or transforms with a sleight hand. In previous works, Smith has subtly added to or removed elements from objects such as nails, duvets, record covers, and magazine pages, transforming them in order to destabilise their original presence and function. The sculptures’ original purpose seems undermined, rather than deconstructed or rendered functionless, and through this gentle manipulation the objects become an adulterated version of their former selves, stopping some way short of the finality of entropy.

  2. ​Alistair Frost, Simone Gilges and Matthew Smith, 2008. Installation View, Studio Voltaire, London. Courtesy of the artists, selectors and Studio Voltaire, London.

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