The show titled Dark Portraits presents a survey of works in photography and in virtual sculpture, a medium which Gerrard is championing to increased acclaim.
Extending over the entire gallery space Gerrard will show the Sycamore, Lime and Pine from his Smoke Tree series, one as a room sized projection. These works, based on trees near the artists childhood home in southern Ireland commandeer smoke as a sculptural medium and reconfigure familiar arboreal structures as ethereal and mesmerising polluting objects.
Another work in virtual sculpture titled One Thousand Year Dawn (Marcel) presents a young man considering the dawn on an empty beach. Within the work lies an impossible duration, a 'double horizon' of the landscape and that of a millennial extension of the rising sun. In 3005 the portrayed young man leaves the scene, rendering the work as a landscape from that point on.
The Dark Portraits photographic series presents children sitting in rooms entirely sealed from light. In conversation with the artist the subjects consider the abyssal darkness before them until an electronic flash captures this scrutiny. In the words of the artist the series are 'conceptually at the centre of this exhibition, with their relations to uncertainty, illumination and the traditions of tragedy'.
Several important new photographic works will also be shown including 'Figure Blocking Sun (Cesar)' and 'Ghost Face' an image of an Argentinian llama at dusk whose facial markings present a perfect death head.
A catalogue has been produced with essays by Christiane Paul, (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York) and Shane Brighton (SOAS, London) Dark Portraits travels from the RHA Gallery in Dublin, Ireland.
John Gerrard received a BFA from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University in 1998 and an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. Following an extraordinary first year with Hilger Contemporary the artist is currently preparing a major new virtual work to be shown in solo presentations the US and Europe in 2007.