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Payne Shurvell – Andrew Curtis


Andrew Curtis: Selected Works is the forthcoming show by Payne Shurvell, and the latest invite we have designed for them.

2 June – 26 July 2014

Presented by PayneShurvell at the House of St Barnabas
1 Greek Street, Soho Square, London, W1D 4NQ

Private view: Tues 8 July 6-9pm
Breakfast tours at 10am: Mon 7 July & Tues 22 July
Strictly RSVP or by appointment. Email

In ‘Head of a Man 1’ and ‘Head of Man 2′ Andrew Curtis paints the background space of Nigel Henderson’s ‘Head of a Man’ (1956) in thinned household enamel over large-format monochrome photographs of a colonialist’s exotic winter garden, built in Eltham in the 1880s. Funded by self-made millionaire ‘Colonel’ John Thomas, the winter garden was made to bring ‘taste’ to the masses of south London, from which a post-war suburb grew. These works are the exact dimensions of Henderson’s original collage on board and the photographs were taken by Joolz Ingram following Andrew Curtis’s instructions.

Two works from Curtis’s latest series ‘Universal Reproductions’ are unique screen prints on plasterboard, using appropriated archive images from the plaster cast collection at the Crystal Palace in Sydenham. The casts depicted were made using a reproductive sculptural process with the purpose of providing greater access to great works to improve public taste in art and design. Curtis’s use of plasterboard as substrate for his printed reproductions of these images, a readily available DIY material, questions the authenticity of this prescribed experience and its accretion in the gardens and public spaces that we inhabit.

These images extend Curtis’s work on the faux-exotic presence in suburbia and anachronistic signs of cultural appropriation for which he has become known: monkey-puzzle trees (Chilean Pine), Torbay palms and the façade of worldly culture they present.

You can see more of Planning unit’s work for Payne Shurvell here.