10.10.08 — 08.11.08 ‘Dark Ages’, Michael Whittle

Man&Eve is pleased to present ‘Dark Ages’ the first UK solo exhibition of work by Michael Whittle:

Michael Whittle’s art concerning biology records the disjunctive dialogue between mind and nature. It shows how human will to domesticate nature results in peculiarly hampered growth, which then elicits even more tenacious interventions. Drawn with religious solemnity, the back and forth scenes commemorate a festival of futility.

The scale of his other work spans from the microscopic to the oceanic, and covers such fields as neurology, anatomy, archaeology, and geography. Gravity and meaning are suspended for our viewing pleasure. At the same time, the sensual pleasure his work provides us is tempered by a certain awareness of the limits to our ever-expanding knowledge.

Whittle’s visual meditations center on our tools of knowledge, such as nomenclature, classifications, perspectives, the stuff of science. They pay respect to the bounty of gaining knowledge, such as repetitions, symmetry and order. But they also dwell on the margins and aftermaths of our endeavors toward gaining knowledge, where they break down and fail.

In his art, we celebrate world domination along marching knights with flags waving high. We also stand still next to wise sages with molecular heads. Yet, more often than not, we are left holding the strings and gazing at unmatched lines, unconsummated vanishing points, fallen dust and debris on the ground.

Michael Whittle’s often monochromatic, carefully drafted and crafted art is filled with wonderment at the world’s resistance against our efforts to understand and change it according to our desires. What comes through in looking at his art is the curious tension between our hopes and aspirations toward knowledge, with which we can take action, on the one hand, and on the other hand, our despairs and 
disappointments in our thwarted efforts that eventually lead us to find peace with our dim wisdom.”

Toyota Horiguchi, February 20, 2007 
Associate Professor, Kyoto City University of Arts

A private view will be held at Man&Eve on Thursday 9th October 2008, 6-9pm.

The exhibition runs from 10th October until 8th November. Opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 6pm and at other times by prior appointment.