I Lost My Spring

8th – 13th August, open daily 11 – 7pm

Private view 10th August, 6 – 9pm

RSVP to anna@novarelations.com

Fitzrovia Gallery is delighted to host I Lost My Spring, an exhibition of new work by British multi-media artist Anthony Mundy. On show are prints, collages, sculptures and paintings inspired by the culture surrounding Club 57 of downtown Manhattan 1979 – 1984.

Associated with Keith Haring, queer culture, and heavy distribution of flyers, Club 57 is known to have brought visibility to previously suppressed communities. Access to Xerox allowed for quick and inexpensive printing, democratising imagery in a segregated art scene. The range of work on display in I Lost My Spring recreates this atmosphere and is Mundy’s pilgrimage in search of language aimed at healing. The exhibition takes its title, I Lost My Spring, from Mundy’s series of poems […], also presented as part of the event.

Mundy applies various production techniques in his practice, including solvent printmaking, camera use, drawing diagrams, and collage from found imagery. The process is always analytical and symbolic in its hypothesising of a solution. Fractured or mirrored imagery, besides being a mishap in Xerox printing, stands for more significant questions relating to man’s relationship to nature. As seen from the exhibition title and their poetry at large, Mundy looks to nature for guidance in articulating emotional experience in what Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen deemed ‘a male society with laws drafted by men. ‘Nature alone’, Mundy says, ‘contains all the nuances necessitated for a universal language’. Gender identity, sexuality, and grief are themes that run through the exhibition, there to encourage reflection through subdued colours and subtle compositional changes. In today’s society, Mundy takes on the task of challenging traditional masculinity and the expectations it imposes on men. However, the rigidity of archaic masculinity often hinders its alignment with the contemporary needs of men and their sexual identity. Mundy emphasises that when individuals find themselves unable to articulate their emotions through conventional verbal language, they become prisoners of these antiquated confines.

Solvent printmaking entered Mundy’s practice in 2020 and allowed the above-mentioned characteristics to be more comprehensively explored. Previously working with screen-printing and lithography, Mundy was frustrated with the technique’s machinery and lack of physical engagement. In solvent printmaking, the artist uses their body to apply pressure, scrape, or even carve into the surface.

Compositions of both prints and collages veer towards the surreal and bring to mind the German Dadaist Hannah Höch’s photomontages, whose critical abilities lay in ‘the radical techniques of disorientation, negation, and
disjunction’ (www.metmuseum.org Hannah Höch ‘Weltrevolution’). A stairway is a frequent motif, and so is a series of eyes, telling of transition and perception.

Alongside the works on paper is shown a selection of intricate sculptures mimicking bowling pins. Bowling, for Mundy, is part of a culture nourishing stereotypes of masculinity; the pin, hit to fall and bouncing back up, represents the ideal male.