John Kirby All Passion Spent
London, Cork Street

John Kirby
All Passion Spent

13 February - 30 March 2019
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Overview

Celebrated British artist John Kirby is known for his paintings of enigmatic and disquieting narrative scenes, tackling the complexities of identity, gender and sexuality. This solo exhibition brings together new and recent works alongside selected paintings from the past two decades, focusing on the conversation between past and present portrayed by his enduring cast of characters.

Influenced by religious iconography, Kirby stages his figures in strange, or dreamlike settings. His characters depict the struggles and anxieties of childhood and adolescence, adopting ambiguous or coded gestures of play and dressing up, and hinting at charged, psychic dramas below the surface of the everyday.

The title of the exhibition, All Passion Spent, is taken from Milton's dramatic poem or ‘closet drama’, Samson Agonistes. Kirby’s appropriation reflects the private search of his characters for ‘calm of mind’ following internal struggles.

Kirby’s doll-like figures have been described as sublimated self-portraits, in which the themes of isolation or loneliness, and the repression of emotion are explored through symbolic narratives. Gender is represented as both fluid and equivocal, where boys and young men explore gendered motifs such as the doll’s house, black-tie suit, or bridal gown.


Selected exhibited works below. 

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    London

    21 Cork Street
    London W1S 3LZ

    Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 6pm

    *Closed
    24 December 2021 to 4 January 2022

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    London

    82 Kingsland Road
    London E2 8DP

    Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 6pm

    Please enquire about private viewings or visits outside of our regular hours. 

     

    To ensure the continued safety of our staff and guests when inside our gallery spaces, thank you for wearing a face covering for the duration of your visit and respecting social distancing. 

    We have a maximum limit to the number of people allowed within our gallery at any one time and therefore we may need to ask you to wait outside or to return at another time. 

     

     
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    49 Tung Street
    Sheung Wan

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    31 December 2021 - 3 January 2022
    29 January - 3 February 2022

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