5-8 March 2015, PIER 90, West 50th Street at 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, USA.
Stephen Palmer’s most recent paintings feature second-hand copies of albums by iconic male singers. Palmer partially obscures the original cover artwork by placing the record’s inner sleeve over it so that little more than the face of the recording artist is visible. By highlighting the inner sleeves with their additions of personalised messages and texts, hand written by their one-time owners, Palmer creates a conversation between our idea of that artist and their work and the ‘unknown’ person who once eagerly scrawled or carefully printed their thoughts thereon. Are they a serious ‘collector’ cataloguing works, a love-struck teenager, or a football fan declaring support for their favourite team as they listen to the album?
Other new paintings expand on an earlier series of drawings transcribing newspapers clippings. The stories reflect on cultural, technological and scientific advances that have come to a definitive end: the closure of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper in The end of the World Pt 1; the last flight of the space shuttle in Shuttle’s last trip. Presented as if screwed up and discarded by the reader, the new works have a more sculptural feel than before. Does the artist wish to move on and be rid of those earlier, more careful depictions? Or does the discarding proclaim ‘this really is the end’?