27 OCTOBER 2016 - 2 DECEMBER 2016




William Benington Gallery is pleased to present Head, a solo exhibition of new work by Iain Hales.

Head is an exhibition of blurred lines and transition points, wherein painting meets sculpture, figuration emerges from abstraction, and classical ideas of masculinity are undermined by a contemporary frame of reference. 

The exhibition will consist of an installation of wall based sculptural platforms which are reminiscent of theatrical stages. Throughout Head, Hales returns to leitmotifs that have appeared in his work previously. Most notable here are his references to classical architecture - we recognise stripes that echo the masonry of the Duomo in Florence, allusions to arched colonnades, and references to Grecian pedestals and plinths. Here though, Hales adds to this iconography. We encounter aspects of the human form that suggest Greco-Roman statues. The overall mise-en-scéne is of the Romantic vision of the classical ruin, or of the idealised Renaissance sculptor’s studio. There is an implied fallacy here though; these statues are hewn from foam, not marble, and the architectural features are a trick of perspective. The work thus behaves as a façade that obscures an insubstantial reality.  The viewer can draw a parallel by considering the real issues facing modern-day society against the irony of our contemporary cultural obsession with body image, superficial beauty, and an outward illusion of wellbeing.

Iain Hales lives and works in London.  He was the 2013/14 recipient of the ‘Mark Tanner Sculpture Award’. He completed his MFA Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2009 and gained a BA in Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2005.  He has made solo presentations at 9B Projects, Standpoint Gallery, m2 Gallery, COLE, and Hyperground (Edinburgh).  His work has been in group shows at (It’s All) Tropical, Leeds; LeandaKateLouise, London;  Turf Projects, Croydon; Two Queens, Leicester; and BALTIC 39, Newcastle (curated by Phyllida Barlow), among others.