Simon Bedwell
Apr 8 - May 21, 2005


A year on from Beck’s Futures 2004, Ritter/Zamet is pleased to present the first gallery solo exhibition of British artist, Simon Bedwell.  

Since the demise of the infamous guerrilla-artist collective BANK in 2003, Simon Bedwell has established himself as a solo artist with his inclusion at the ICA followed by The Sound of the Crowd at Ritter/Zamet and Galleon and Other Stories at the Saatchi Gallery later last year. At the same time he also had his solo debut with Advertising Doesn’t Tell Anyone Anything Anyway presenting a Platform For Art commission of 14 digitally printed posters at Piccadilly Circus Underground station.  

Bedwell is best known for hand manipulating trashed posters and photographs using text and spray-paint to generate esoteric, strangely poignant or bluntly comedic fusions of word and image. Using the cheap, throwaway nostalgia of these found objects, he fragments, diverts and elaborates his visual materials to create absurd compositions, poetic narratives and crass allegories of power. And, it is precisely this transformative process of co-joining seemingly oppositional images and concepts that has evolved throughout his latest body of work.  

For his show at Ritter/Zamet, Bedwell's new work retains echoes of BANK’s sardonic tone while presenting an extended rhetorical range through a visually rich, conceptually nuanced exploration of his material. Posters have expanded to billboard dimensions, their crumpled surfaces steeped in rivulets of spray-paint, while other found images such as redundant computer clip-art symbols and random slogans have been sensuously reproduced in the art historically charged medium of paint on canvas.

For his latest project, Bedwell has appropriated and collaged reproductions cut from hundreds of different nature books, sex guide manuals and porn magazines, crossing photographic genres, reprographic technologies and fashions of representation from the 1950s through to the present day. What occurs is a dreamlike corruption of all these distinctions, resulting in grand-scale, free-for-all softcore fêtes champêtres where the misty romance of lifestyle porn meets the vanishing, endlessly photographed natural world in a succession of gently bizarre, heady liaisons. And, although they clearly demonstrate the consciously material frankness of collage, Bedwell’s scavenger knowledge of the incidental glamour of the photograph make these surreal fractions of space and time strangely believable and imaginable, even, as another reality.