London

Kevin Francis Gray

On View
Nov 25, 2020–Mar 27, 2021

Furthering Gray’s decade of working with marble, this new body of work pushes the possibilities of the artist’s sculptural practice into novel territories of physical and psychological expression.

Exhibition Details

Kevin Francis Gray
Nov 25, 2020 – Mar 27, 2021

Pace Gallery’s London location is temporarily closed due to local government restrictions in light of the progression of COVID-19 in the UK. Please continue to monitor our website for any updates.

Gallery

6 Burlington Gardens
London

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Installation view, Kevin Francis Gray, November 25, 2020 – March 27, 2021, Pace Gallery, London © Kevin Francis Gray

Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #2, 2020, Carrara marble, green onyx, white onyx and bronze on railway-beechwood and concrete base, 170 cm × 45 cm × 36 cm (66-15/16" × 17-11/16" × 14-3/16"), Overall 74 cm × 29 cm × 16 cm (29-1/8" × 11-7/16" × 6-5/16"), Carrara marble, green onyx, white onyx and bronze 95 cm × 42 cm × 36 cm (37-3/8" × 16-9/16" × 14-3/16"), Concrete base

Pace Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of new work by Kevin Francis Gray at 6 Burlington Gardens. On view from 25 November 2020 to 27 March 2021, the exhibition will run concurrently with a solo exhibition of Gray’s work at the Museo Stefano Bardini, Florence, Italy (on view until 21 December 2020, organized by Eduardo Secci Contemporary and MUSE).

At the core of Kevin Francis Gray’s practice is an interrogation of the intersection of traditional sculptural techniques and contemporary life. Rather than working towards classical ideals of beauty, Gray relies on textural surfaces as opposed to facial or bodily expressions to imbue his sculptures with psychological realism. Furthering Gray’s decade of working with marble, this new work pushes the possibilities of the artist’s sculptural practice into new territories of physical and psychological expression. These works are intimately linked to a period of intense self-reflection in the artist’s life, which imbues them with a sense of both serenity and fragility.

Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #21, 2020, Carrara marble and concrete base, 225 cm × 31 cm × 35 cm (88-9/16" × 12-3/16" × 13-3/4"),Overall 54 cm × 30 cm × 24 cm (21-1/4" × 11-13/16" × 9-7/16"),Carrara Marble 170 cm × 31 cm × 35" (66-15/16" × 12-3/16" × 88.9 cm), Concrete Base
Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #35, 2020, Carrara marble on cherry wood base, 175 cm × 38 cm × 32 cm (68-7/8" × 14-15/16" × 12-5/8"), Overall 60 cm × 33 cm × 33 cm (23-5/8" × 13" × 13"), Carrara marble 115 cm × 38 cm × 32 cm (45-1/4" × 14-15/16" × 12-5/8"), Cherry Wood Base
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Installation view, Kevin Francis Gray, November 25, 2020 – March 27, 2021, Pace Gallery, London © Kevin Francis Gray

Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #9, 2020, Carrara marble and bronze pole on marble and corten steel base, 247 cm × 16 cm × 16 cm (8' 1-1/4" × 6-5/16" × 6-5/16"), Overall 75.5 cm × 15 cm × 14 cm (29-3/4" × 5-7/8" × 5-1/2"), Carrara marble and bronze pole 170.5 cm × 15.5 cm × 15.5 cm (67-1/8" × 6-1/8" × 6-1/8"), Corten steel base

This exhibition showcases a shift in Gray’s techniques and modes of representation as he moves from creating figures in highly polished finishes to those with rough-hewn surfaces. On display for the first time, Gray’s latest series, the Breakdown Works, introduce a wide variety of new materials into his sculptural praxis—green onyx, bronze, rough concrete, steel, and ebonized wood come into play with marble. In balancing several colors, textures, and shapes within a single composition, Gray eschews the distinction between sculpture and plinth to create a unified entity. Envisaged to interact with one another within the space, the Breakdown Works serve as the framework of this exhibition, creating formal resonances between themselves and the larger sculptures. Drawing on the energy and block forms of Futurist sculptors, each unique piece sits atop its own custom pedestal and indicates a different moment in the evolution of Gray’s practice.

Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #7, 2020, Kilkenny marble on corten steel base, 210 cm × 40 cm × 40 cm (82-11/16" × 15-3/4" × 15-3/4"), Overall 79 cm × 35 cm × 36 cm (31-1/8" × 13-3/4" × 14-3/16"),Marble 131 cm × 40 cm × 40 cm (51-9/16" × 15-3/4" × 15-3/4"), Corten steel base
Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #15, 2020, Marquina marble on wood base, 202 cm × 30 cm × 31 cm (79-1/2" × 11-13/16" × 12-3/16"),Overall 36 cm × 21 cm × 21 cm (14-3/16" × 8-1/4" × 8-1/4"), marble head 166 cm × 30 cm × 31 cm (65-3/8" × 11-13/16" × 12-3/16"), wood base
Kevin Francis Gray, Sun Worshipper Standing, 2020, Carrara marble and bronze on steel plinth, 219 cm × 57 cm × 57 cm (86-1/4" × 22-7/16" × 22-7/16"), Overall 160 cm × 40 cm × 40 cm (63" × 15-3/4" × 15-3/4"), Carrra Marble 59 cm × 57 cm × 57 cm (23-1/4" × 22-7/16" × 22-7/16"), Steel Plinth

Many of the materials used to create the sculptures in this exhibition were salvaged or repurposed by Gray. Forgotten tree trunks from Cambridgeshire and decades-old waylaid marble blocks were brought to the artist’s London studio, where he set to work uncovering their potential. In Gray’s Moondancer, a totemic marble form sits atop an ancient elm burl which itself becomes an intrinsic part of the work’s potency. The wood grounds the marble in nature, providing a contrast between the two elements that resonate throughout the space.

In pieces such as Moon Dancer Standing (2020) and Sun Worshipper Standing (2020), the characters are heightened to celestial bodies, echoing modern spirituality and Pagan traditions with literal representations of the sun and the moon.

Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #8, 2020, Carrara marble and bronze on marble base, 207 cm × 86 cm × 52 cm (81-1/2" × 33-7/8" × 20-1/2")
Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #6, 2020, Carrara marble, earring and bronze pole on ebonised elm base, 131.5 cm × 20 cm × 20 cm (51-3/4" × 7-7/8" × 7-7/8")
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Installation view, Kevin Francis Gray, November 25, 2020 – March 27, 2021, Pace Gallery, London © Kevin Francis Gray

Kevin Francis Gray, Striding Youth, 2020, Marquina marble on concrete and ibeam plinth, 155 cm × 75 cm × 65 cm (61" × 29-1/2" × 25-9/16"), Overall 102 cm × 56 cm × 45 cm (40-3/16" × 22-1/16" × 17-11/16"), Marquina marble 53 cm × 75 cm × 65 cm (20-7/8" × 29-1/2" × 25-9/16"),concrete and ibeam plinth

Indeed, in these new iterations of Gray’s long-terms Gods series, his figures are now young, anonymous, and notably more elaborate, as with Striding Youth (2020). Paired with the Breakdown Works, these characters present traits brimming with vulnerability and strength, anger and hope, dedication, and combativeness. The viewer is in turn faced with this complexity, as they bear witness to the raw materials and their sculptural transformations.

Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #19, 2020, Carrara marble, bronze pole and wood on concrete base, 161 cm × 45 cm × 32.5 cm (63-3/8" × 17-11/16" × 12-13/16")
Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #25, 2020, Bardiglio marble on corten steel base, 114 cm × 15 cm × 15 cm (44-7/8" × 5-7/8" × 5-7/8"),Overall 29 cm × 15 cm × 15 cm (11-7/16" × 5-7/8" × 5-7/8"), Bardiglio marble 85 cm × 15 cm × 15 cm (33-7/16" × 5-7/8" × 5-7/8"),Corten Steel Base
Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #10, 2020, Kilkenny marble on burr elm base, 132 cm × 39 cm × 35 cm (51-15/16" × 15-3/8" × 13-3/4"), overall 41 cm × 25 cm × 17 cm (16-1/8" × 9-13/16" × 6-11/16"), Kilkenny marble 90 cm × 39 cm × 35 cm (35-7/16" × 15-3/8" × 13-3/4"), burr elm base

Gray’s solo exhibition at the Museo Stefano Bardini, Florence, Italy, on view until 21 December 2020, includes new work presented amongst the illustrious collection of Stefano Bardini, the 19th century antiquarian who bestowed his collection and palazzo to the city of Florence (exhibition organized by Eduardo Secci Contemporary and MUSE).

As part of the Sculpture in the City trail, Gray’s Reclining Nude I remains on view in London. The work is located at St Botolphs without Bishopsgate Churchyard.

Kevin Francis Gray, Breakdown Work #30, 2020, Carrara marble, earring and bronze pole on ebonised wood and concrete base, 181 cm × 36 cm × 32 cm (71-1/4" × 14-3/16" × 12-5/8"),Overall
Kevin Francis Gray, Sad Face, 2020, Statuario marble on ash wood base, 177 cm × 44 cm × 37 cm (69-11/16" × 17-5/16" × 14-9/16") Overall, 61 cm × 34 cm × 24 cm (24" × 13-3/8" × 9-7/16"), Marble 115.5 cm × 44 cm × 37 cm (45-1/2" × 17-5/16" × 14-9/16"), Ash Wood Base
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Installation view, Kevin Francis Gray, November 25, 2020 – March 27, 2021, Pace Gallery, London © Kevin Francis Gray

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Kevin Francis Gray

Kevin Francis Gray (b. 1972, South Armagh, Northern Ireland) addresses the complex relationships between abstraction, figuration, and portraiture through sculpture. Working in a range of media—from bronze and marble to cast resin—the artist’s techniques and modes of representation have evolved, with Gray moving from figures in highly polished finishes to those with rough-hewn surfaces. Crafting human figures in varied scales that align with classical styles of representation, his work treads the boundary between contemporary society and classical history, reverberating with the aesthetics of Neoclassicism. Rather than working toward ideals of beauty or memorial, Gray attends to the psychological affects of his subjects, often relying on textural surfaces rather than facial or bodily postures to convey mental states.

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London — Kevin Francis Gray, Nov 25, 2020–Mar 27, 2021