22.11.25. Berg Gallery – John Rainey

Berg Gallery – John Rainey – STATE SHIFT – November 11 to December 17, 2022 – Hudiksvallsgatan 8 – Open Tue–Fri 11–18, Sat 12–16

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, London in 2012, John Rainey (b. 1985) has undertaken residencies at the British School at Rome, Rome and Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at Naughton Gallery, Belfast, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, and Marsden Woo Gallery Project Space, London. Selected group exhibitions include EVA International – Ireland’s Biennal, Limerick, the Ceramics Biennal, Stoke-on-Trent, Fondation Bernardaud, Limoges, Hunt Museum, Limerick, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, and COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, London. His work is included in public collections including the UK Government Art Collection and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Collection.

ABOUT the exhibition

We are happy to present Belfast-based sculptor John Rainey’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, following his introductory exhibition Flayground in 2019. In this major new solo exhibition, alternative sculptural histories are presented as a series of glitched re-imaginings, manufactured fragments, and botched restorations.

STATE SHIFT explores the historical movement of sculptural copies between materials, scales, and geographical locations. Through transformations and material illusions, Rainey reflects on the ability of these forms to shift associations and meanings in different contexts and time periods, with an emphasis on their existence in digital space and time.

While the Roman tradition of producing copies of original Greek sculptures implies repetition and same-ness, Rainey’s sculptures take inspiration from the slippages and variations that creep in during the act of reproduction and subsequent restoration. STATE SHIFT features five versions of the Discobolus, a sculpture which was copied numerous times (often with distinctive differences) after the Greek master Myron’s now lost original. In a British Museum Press publication focusing on the historical flexibility of the Discobolus, curator Ian Jenkins describes that ‘[t]o Nazi Germany, it was a trophy of the mythical Aryan race [whereas] on a London transport poster for the 1948 Olympic Games … it was emblematic of the triumph of democratic freedom over fascist tyranny’.¹ Rainey revisits this and other historical forms as well as their shifting meanings through acts of sculptural remixing – where digital scans released by museums are manipulated through a series of transformations and processes including 3D printing, porcelain casting, slicing, re-joining and surface printing.

STATE SHIFT presents us with states of uncertainty and disrupted expectations. Existing in a matrix of contradictions, disguise and disruptive patterns, Rainey’s re-configurations inject the possibility of alternatives and difference into classical forms usually associated with static ideals.

Berg Gallery was founded in 2013 and is owned and operated by Niclas Berg. The gallery focuses on contemporary art and represents both established and emerging artists. The gallery has a special interest in material-based art. Berg Gallery is located in the Stockholm Gallery District near Vanadisplan in a 270 sqm space. https://www.berggallery.se/
Hudiksvallsgatan 8
SE-113 30 Stockholm


Tuesday – Friday 11.00 – 18.00
Saturday 12.00 – 16.00

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