Selective Demolition: The Work of Richard Galpin

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[image via Richard Galpin]

For almost 10 years, artist Richard Galpin has been carefully excavating cities; revealing their hidden geometries and composition. The removal of buildings from their context and vice versa makes Galpin a perfect fit for the virtual pages of Life Without Buildings. His technique could be described as a form of subtractive painting. Like some bizarre combination of plastic surgeon and urbanist, Galpin artfully takes his scalpel to photographs of urban landscapes, slicing and cutting until the image loses its coherence; replaced instead by what he describes as “reconfigured cluster of partially erased cubo/constructivist form.” (A time-lapse video of this painstaking process is availble on his website.) In looking through the work on his website, it’s clear that Galpin’s work has evolved from mysterious landscapes floating in the void to fractured, designed abstractions. Curated erasure. Fractalized urbanism. Elevation, an exhibition of Galpin’s recent work is now on view at the Hales Gallery in London.

From the press release for Elevation:

Through combining this aesthetic with the reflective surfaces of contemporary cities, the works have manifested a shard-like angularity, reminiscent of science-fiction illustration, the architectural drawings of Lebbus woods, or the sculptures of Lee Bondecou. The anonymous utopian landscapes of Galpin’s previous works have given way to something more dystopian and post-apocalyptic. These are future ruins, or perhaps rogue states built from the detritus of 21st century life.


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[image via Richard Galpin]

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[image via Richard Galpin]