Toby Ziegler

Equivalents for Megaliths 10, 2007

Ink on Paper

63.5 x 50.8 cm

£ 3000 - 10,000


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Artwork
Description

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The advent of photography prompted a question that has been engaged by artists ever since; If an image can be indefinitely reproduced, where do meaning and value truly reside? This query has gained renewed relevance in the Information Age, as technologies of reproduction have increased in their pervasiveness and scope.

Digital methods of replication and reconstitution are the means through which Toby Ziegler probes the relationship between perception and narrative. By appropriating and recontextualizing images mined from online sources, he considers the levels through which narrative meaning is accumulated and disposed. In doing so, he demonstrates the protracted degrees of separation between spectators and replicated source objects.

In the selected work, Ziegler demonstrates his penchant for maneuvering meaning by imparting the quintessential objects of still life with the illusory depth and contrast of Op Art. “Equivalents for Megaliths 10” takes its title from a 1935 painting by British surrealist Paul Nash, who depicted mundane objects with monumental consideration. Ziegler’s reconstitution of tableware into optic imprints of arabesque patterning has a similar effect; dishes, bowls, and egg holders emit a mystic charge as they shift in perspective between a leveled arrangement and a vertical stack. Ziegler’s multimedia approach, developing compositions digitally and applying them manually, demonstrates the fluidity of materiality, and mutability of reality, characteristic of the new media age.

About
the artist

Toby Ziegler (b. 1972) is a British artist who lives and works in London. He graduated from Central St. Martins School of Art and Design in 1994.

Ziegler’s practice encompasses both painting and sculpture. His work involves the manipulation of perception: abstraction and figuration fraternise, classical compositions surrender to digital reworking. Ziegler begins with mined Internet images and coerces them into material form, fashioning an exchange between the virtual and the actual. The starting point may vary: Matisse, Constable or Dutch still-life. Once selected, however, the image is inscribed onto either canvas or aluminium panels by Ziegler’s own hand, an intricate and meticulous process that allows for the appearance of the artist’s own idiosyncrasies. Following the application of paint, the image is subject to a period of erasure, which Ziegler refers to as: evacuation. Evacuation involves the use of correction fluid or a metal grinder in order to distort and degrade; reducing the image down until Ziegler deems that what is left is, necessary.

Ziegler’s works are terrains both familiar and strange: the transformative process designed to test the limits of imitation against a Neo-Platonic system of ideals. This is what underpins the sequence of images, which loop on LED screens in many of his exhibitions. The screens recite the conversion of the originally selected source material into Ziegler’s own works, and then the permeation of that work into popular culture. The suggestion being that contemporary art and pop culture are the by-products of the same – imperfect – process of imitation.  For Ziegler, it is the duty of the artist to interpret the mechanisms behind this process, to reveal all its mimetic and degraded nuances.


Ziegler’s works are terrains both familiar and strange: the transformative process designed to test the limits of imitation against a Neo-Platonic system of ideals. This is what underpins the sequence of images, which loop on LED screens in many of his exhibitions. The screens recite the conversion of the originally selected source material into Ziegler’s own works, and then the permeation of that work into popular culture. The suggestion being that contemporary art and pop culture are the by-products of the same – imperfect – process of imitation.  For Ziegler, it is the duty of the artist to interpret the mechanisms behind this process, to reveal all its mimetic and degraded nuances.


Toby Ziegler
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition

April 12th, 2018 until
April 24th, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER