Something Borrowed, Something New. Ian Irvine vs the VG&M
25 May 2019 - November 2019

Location: Gallery 5, first floor


Something borrowed, Something New

Ian Irvine vs the VG&M


Artist Ian Irvine applies a subversive, contemporary twist to the VG&M’s collection of historic paintings. When invited to respond to the collection, his immediate reaction is to appropriate a number of images and transform them using collage, screen print and some irreverence. 

He zones in on formal portraits, such as the elegant Anna Ashton painted by Georgian artist Joseph Wright of Derby, and makes interventions that entirely changes the narrative of the original, turning them into something surreal, dark and disturbing but frequently humorous. 

His silkscreen prints invoke the spirit of artists Robert Rauschenberg and Richard Hamilton, adding layers of colour and painterly gestures, which allow the original images to remain visible through a prism of overlaid colours. 

Using the VG&M’s paintings in this way allows the formal qualities of the original works to be appreciated, while turning them into something entirely different. Something related to Pop Art prints of the 1960s and 70s.