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21 March – 21 April 2012

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present the fourth commission for The Box by artist Patrick Coyle. The Box, specially designed by Simon Dance Design, is a project space consisting of a floating white cube set inside a black vertical opening. It is a unique architectural space through which the gallery facilitates projects with important emerging and established artists. Invited artists are commissioned to make an artwork specifically for The Box.

Coyle frequently uses language and performance to examine personal and hidden narratives. Working with found objects, images and texts he places strategic constraints on his own methods of presentation. For the exhibition 78601404_The_Practice_of_Patrick_Coyle, and with the concurrent exhibition Sweethearts in mind, the artist invited Stef Hirsch to curate previous performance pieces, works on paper and sculptures that he made since they first got it on in 2010.

The performance installation Alphabetes (2010) is the artist’s attempt to demonstrate various examples of miscommunication, represented here by the twenty six letters of the alphabet. For example, the letter D stands for the ‘lower-case two-letter abbreviation for the word down’, whereas later we find the letter U standing for ‘the realization of the word up upsideown being dn, the aforementioned lower-case two-letter abbreviation for the word down.’ These convoluted semantic connections are further complicated by Coyle’s delivery of the script from memory.

Continuous Polymorph Project (2012) is made from a remouldable thermoplastic, which is reshaped on a weekly basis. Coyle documents the various forms by producing individual paintings from each one, which accumulate in the space over the course of the exhibition.

Ouroboros (Garden Worm Ornament), (2011) is a hanging plaster sculpture depicting the ancient symbol of the ouroboros, traditionally representing cyclicality and the renewal of life. Coyle’s updated version of this motif was appropriated from a mass-produced ornament found in a supermarket and signifies the artist’s concern with self-reflexivity and mythology.

The exhibition borrows its title from the print 78601404_The_Practice_of_Patrick_Coyle (2011) a speech written for Coyle by an online essay-writing company.

Patrick Coyle has recently exhibited at Tenderpixel Gallery, London; Hayward Concrete Café, London; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; and Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2010, A Foundation, Liverpool & ICA, London. Recent performances include the ICA, London; Zabludowicz Collection, London; The Mews Project Space, London; Spike Island, Bristol; The Poetry Café, London; Arnolfini, Bristol; Flat Time House, London; and The Icelandic Embassy, London.

Stef Hirsch recently co-curated the exhibition Fig.3: I don't know what to say, David Roberts Art Foundation, London.

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-4.
For further information, please contact +44 (0)20 7734 7760 or

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