12.03.11 - 01.04.11

Stillmatic - Christian Newby

Imagine you were to inhabit the pictorial space of a black and white glaze of the 1950s pottery range Homemaker. If so, you'll have some notion of what to expect from Christian Newby's exhibition, Stillmatic, at +44 141. Anchoring the show, his visually striking ink, graphite and charcoal drawings are composed, collage-style, of trendy lamps, potted plants and other motifs suggesting 1950s home furnishings. All geometric lines and satisfying symmetry, these are as pleasing as fuzzy felt.

However, like the Homemaker design which featured domestic objects that were themselves design classics of the period  it transpires the drawings are further embedded with cultural references. Not least, their potentially mystifying title. Live at Pompeii, which the exhibition pamphlet identifies as a nod to the Pink Floyd video of the same name, shot in the citys Roman amphitheatre.

Continuing the theme of architectural ruins, a large freestanding paper scroll is simultaneously a double column and an excavated whirlwind created by removing myriad loose fragments from the surface after applying charcoal. From AD 79 to the 1970s in one small step. But then, cultural history is Newby's bread and butter. - (The Skinny review)