I Too Was In Arcadia
new works on paper by Dion Kitson
in response to the work and ideas of Ian Hamilton Finlay
22 October – 23 November
Le Roi Fou is delighted to present an exhibition of work by new generation Birmingham artist Dion Kitson, in response to the oeuvre of Ian Hamilton Finlay. During the summer, Le Roi Fou hosted Kitson, encouraging the artist to immerse himself in the work and ideas of Hamilton Finlay at Jupiter Artland and Stonypath, Little Sparta – as well as experiencing the monumentality of Edinburgh’s Neoclassical urban landscape and relevant cultural institutions, in particular Edinburgh Printmakers and the Scottish Poetry Library.
I Too Was In Arcadia, an exhibition of print and collaged works on paper, is the result, referencing a rich contrasting language of bucolic idylls, military technology, dilapidated follies and pastoral windmills. With an underlying Finlayesque theme of the industrial Workshop of the World set against the elegiac City of Enlightenment, Kitson wants to know, what are the mythologies of his own life and what are his own leitmotifs?
The work builds on a project initiated by Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, revolving around Kitson’s location of a neglected work by Hamilton Finlay at The Leasowes, an 18th century rural garden created by poet William Shenstone, located in Kitson’s home borough of Dudley.
Le Roi Fou is grateful to our exhibition partner Ikon Gallery for generously supporting Dion Kitson’s residency in Edinburgh.
I Too Was In Arcadia is curated by Isolde Nash.
Private view kindly sponsored by Raeburn Fine Wines.
Dion Kitson (b. 1995, West Midlands). Kitson studied Fine Art in Bath. Mentored by Gavin Turk, he has exhibited in group shows in the UK and Italy since 2015. He is currently studying at Birmingham School of Art where he won the Ede & Ravenscroft Award Academic Prize. This year Ikon Gallery invited Kitson to be in Forward: New Art from Birmingham, for whom he also led the performance event, The Assignation Seat, based on his local rediscovery of a neglected work by Ian Hamilton Finlay. He also founded Forward Magazine, Birmingham’s only contemporary art magazine. Kitson’s work explores working class identity, geohistorical coincidences, global politics, humorous nostalgia, wordplay, print and film.
The Shelter, 2019 [detail] © Dion Kitson
Dion Kitson at Stonypath, Little Sparta, 2019 © Isolde Nash
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pdf catalogue available by request