Alex Dordoy ‘Sleepwalker’

Alex Dordoy, The Man in the White Suit III, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 190 cm, Installation view, 'Sleepwalker', Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, 2014
Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag

De Ateliers in Amsterdam has long enjoyed a close relationship with Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, a relationship which was affirmed last year through De Ateliers DEBUT SERIES. As part of a three-year project, the museum offers artists who have served a residency at De Ateliers – the leading institute for young artistic talent in the Netherlands – the opportunity to present their first ever solo exhibition in a Dutch museum. This wonderful initiative has been made possible by Outset Netherlands with the support of the Niemeijer Fonds Foundation. Alex Dordoy (Newcastle, 1985) is the second artist to be featured in the series. His solo exhibition can be viewed from 28 August to 23 November 2014 in the Projects Room (Projectenzaal).

In addition to presenting a unique collection of classic modern art, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag attaches great importance to exhibiting works of new and upcoming artists. This collaboration with De Ateliers and the partnership with Outset Netherlands make it possible to offer a platform to top talents like Alex Dordoy. Dordoy trained at the Glasgow School of Art, and attended De Ateliers for two years. He combines traditional techniques with high-grade technology. The artist edits and manipulates existing objects, photographs, images and patterns using Photoshop, after which he develops them into paintings or sculptures in plaster, silicone or jesmonite. He has created new works especially for the Projects Room, which will be shown at this exhibition.

Dordoy has made a series of paintings based on scenes from a computer game he plays on his mobile phone. He edited the screenshots in Photoshop and then painted the images on canvas. The paintings depict empty, stylised office spaces with windows overlooking an anonymous urban environment. The paintings also serve as large windows, where the viewer sees the contours of the painting and can then take a look through the windows at the city beyond. This creates a spatially layered effect, which is enhanced by the life-size dimensions of the paintings. The spectator walks along the fictitious, painted spaces and is drawn into them. When you walk past, it seems as though you are scrolling through photos on your phone or seeing the scenery go by from a train. Yet, because of the lack of details, you are unable to pinpoint any specific place or time.

The ‘plinth works’ or sculptures each consist of a high pedestal on which an object, such as an old laptop computer or a pair of sneakers used by Dordoy, has been placed. Here he endows used, consumed objects with a second life and a new meaning. Dordoy explores how objects can invoke varying associations at different times and in different contexts, thereby acquiring a new meaning.