Edward Kay

Working Mum

A new exhibition of pencil drawings by the British artist Edward Kay, the artist’s first solo presentation in a not-for-profit space in the UK.

Working Mum is a series of 21 pencil drawings of single breasts, based largely on images lifted from popular lads mags. Each drawing is closely cropped and framed to emphasise the recurrence of the motif. Kay’s process of selection and collection forces this visual survey into the realm of the uncanny.

This series began with Recession Tits, a project the artist began making at the beginning of the financial crisis. Fast moving, reassuring and saleable, Recession Tits would target the young heterosexual male collector. The breast returns in this most recent series but is made repeatedly singular with focus and attention on the variation of the nipple. The style of each breast and the hair extensions framing it is ubiquitous in the popular depiction of women. Whereas Recession Tits was, in some senses, cynical and comic, Working Mum explores more subtle yet intense ideas about personal capital and commodification. Re-grouping the breast makes clear how powerful it is as a psychological and social signpost.

Supported by Carl and Katharine Kostyal and Fletcher Gallery Services.

  1. ​Edward Kay (b. 1980, Scotland) graduated from The Royal Academy in 2005. He has been included in a number of exhibitions including HOTEL, London: Dicksmith Gallery, London; Light&Sie Gallery, Dallas; Engholm Engelhorn Galerie, Vienna; Chung King Project, Los Angeles and Bloomberg Space, London.

  2. Edward Kay, Working Mum, 2010. Installation View, Studio Voltaire. Courtesy of the artist and Studio Voltaire, London. Credit Andy Keate.

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