David Musgrave (b.1973, Stockton-on-Tees, England) lives and works in London. His practice is an exploration of the uncertainties of representation, expression and process. The anthropomorphic forms that structure his work are at once figures and abstractions; a carefully nuanced interrelationship of image and material result in a play between the actual and the fictional, identification and estrangement. His sculptural works frequently involve depictions of common materials, such as scraps of paper rendered in painted aluminum sheet, which are modified and transformed by making their methods of construction explicit. His drawings can resemble documents of artifacts that hint at the primitive or the paranormal, although the exact nature of these non-existent objects remains unfixed. Other drawings replicate scored and damaged surfaces, close viewing of which reveals a highly detailed evocation of fictive but perfectly plausible surfaces created with graphite. Elusive imagery combines with the artist’s technical precision to imbue the work with complex tensions, testing our notions of perception and the real.
Musgrave has exhibited extensively, including recent solo exhibitions at greengrassi, London and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles. His work has been included in various group exhibitions at institutions throughout Europe and the Americas, including Kunstverein Freiburg; Tate, London; CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO. Musgrave’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; and Tate, London. In 2015, Musgrave published Unit, a novel on the animate and inanimate world, narrated from an impossible, quasi-human viewpoint.
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