Verne Dawson: Wheel of Fortune

18 February - 19 March 2003
Victoria Miro Gallery I

Information

16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW

Maurizio Cattelan: Why Painting?
Verne Dawson: Painting is a primary activity, somewhere between whistling and scratching.
Flash Art

In his own words Dawson paints "still lives of tools and materials of painting, insects, birds, plants and animals, visions of prehistoric communities, also futuristic communities, historic figures and events, people and objects of affection and sexual appeal, numbers, calendars, planets and stars." His paintings unite creation myths with phenomena of the modern world and look at concepts of tradition and modernity.

Verne Dawson's interest in the past is an effort to show the continuity of ancient, even prehistoric culture in the present, often revealed in symbols and tales relating to the telling of time, marked by a persistent and common use of numbers in attributes of myth and popular culture, holidays and festivals. In looking back to the beginnings of humankind Dawson hopes to create an understanding of the present and possible insights into the future. For the artist the sense of the presence of the past in the here and now and implication for what lies ahead, is not something far-fetched, but with us at every turn.

There is a saying from the South that Dawson, a native of Alabama quotes: "The past isn't dead. The past isn't even past!"

"It is a thrill of recognition to walk down Broadway, the old Indian trail of Manhattan, the only diagonal street that transverses the island, the road that predates the colonial grid, wearing a pair of shoes based on a pre-Colombian moccasin design, which now we call "penny loafers".

Frequently described in terms reserved for Folk or Outsider Art, Dawson's painting style is deceptively simple and built up of softly brushed surfaces. His paintings are spacious, fantastic landscapes rendered in lush greens and blues, dominated by gigantic earthworks, natural formations or giant para-stadiums. Dotted throughout are scenes of people, bathing, holding babies, or engaged in pagan like rituals. Often situated at the bottom of the canvas the figures are almost always tiny, cast against an imposing combination of nature and the void.

This exhibition will present approximately eight new paintings including two large works Olduvai Gorge, 2002, an important archeological site in Tanzania where many of the earliest remains of homo-sapiens have been found, and The Massacre of the Little People by the Big People, 2003. This painting depicts a battle of primitive warfare, of an adversary with the advantage of greater strength looting and eradicating people of lesser means of warfare. The setting for the work is Great Britain at least 800 years ago when tribes of diminutive people, four to five feet tall, allegedly populated the land. Successive invasions and massacres over many centuries by the larger peoples of Northern Europe drove these tiny people to the hills and forests. Over time they became rarer and harder to find and their physical attributes became mythical to the occupying race. Eventually they imbued them with magical powers and shrank them to inhuman dimensions, to become, perhaps, the fairies and leprechauns of our childhood myths.

Victoria Miro

16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
t: 44 (0)20 7336 8109

info@victoria-miro.com

View map

Victoria Miro Mayfair

14 St George Street

London W1S 1FE

t: 44 (0)20 3205 8910

info@victoria-miro.com
View map

Victoria Miro Venice

Il Capricorno, San Marco 1994,

Calle Drio La Chiesa

30124 Venice, Italy

t: +39 041 523 3799 

info@victoria-miro.com
View map

 

 

Victoria Miro New York – Office

534 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011, USA
t: +1 (212) 229 2400
info@victoria-miro.com

Opening Times

London: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–6pm. 

 

Venice: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–1pm & 2–6pm. During August, Monday–Friday: 10am–1pm & 2–6pm. 

 

We are also closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays. 


Admission free. Large groups should please contact the gallery in advance to book a visit.

 

Enquiries

All general enquiries should be sent to  
info@victoria-miro.com


Victoria Miro does not accept unsolicited artist applications.

 

Before contacting or subscribing please read our Privacy Policy

 

We respect the choices you make about how you would like to hear from us. You will find links at the bottom of all emails we send from our mailing list which allow you to Update your preferences to change the way we contact you, or Unsubscribe if you want to opt out.

Subscribe

Staff contact details

Directors

Victoria Miro
W.P. Miro
Glenn Scott Wright
Divya Pande
Executive Assistant to Directors
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 324 0903

Sales

Director of Sales and Performance
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Matt Carey-Williams
Senior Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4345
Director, Mayfair
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0494
Elke Seebauer
Director, Venice
Direct line: +39 041 523 3799
Clare Coombes
Director of Sales - Museum Acquisitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0919
Anna Fisher
Director of Sales - Americas
Direct line: +1 212 229 2400
Oliver Miro
Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0496
Alessandra Modiano
Director of Sales
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4346
Mary Eleanor McNicholas
Art Fair Co-ordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0498
Louis Blanc-Francard
Sales Executive & Assistant to Matt Carey-Williams
Direct line: +44 (0)20 3205 8910
Fern Warriner
Mayfair Coordinator & Sales Administrator
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 205 8910
Gallery Manager – Venice
Direct line: +39 041 523 3799
Aileen Dowling
Sales Team Coordinator & Sales Administrator
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4344
Eilidh Watson
Front of House and Sales Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0) 207 336 8109

Exhibitions

Erin Manns
Director of Exhibitions - Head of Department
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0423
Rachel Taylor
Director of Exhibitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0431
Director of Exhibitions
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0918
Mary Taylor
Production Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0424
Special Projects and Production
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0426
Isabelle Young
Exhibitions Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Exhibitions Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0901

Communications

Kathy Stephenson
Director of Communications
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0422
Martin Coomer
Head of Editorial and Digital Content
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0915
Marisa J. Futernick
Digital and Social Media Consultant
Direct line: +1 (860) 549-2576
Hannah van den Wijngaard
Photography, Rights and Reproduction Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0428
Press and Marketing Co-ordinator
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0912
Communications Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0499

Operations

Robert Holzberger
Director of Operations
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0495
Emer Bermingham
Operations Manager
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4349
Adeline Guy
Head Registrar
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7324 0916
Jayne Archard
Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)207 324 0910
Alice Panton
Registrar
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0904
Clare Rowe
Paper Archive and Records Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0493
Elina Pelvanidi
Registrar Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 962 4348
Buildings and IT Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0914
Katrina Millar
Events Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Philip Ewe
Library Coordinator and Archive Assistant
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109

Technical Services

David Wood
Technical Operations Manager
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7324 0900
Jon Glazier
Head Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0425
Jonny Winter
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 9624 341
Gemma Geraghty
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0) 203 9624 340
Rob Phillips
Senior Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492
Ross Taylor
Technician
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7549 0492

Finance

Direct line: +44 (0)20 7336 8109