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MELANIE COMBER TOURIST


MELANIE COMBER TOURIST


CONTENTS

6 Director’s Foreword 8 Downtown 10 Southside 12 Uptown 14 Populous 16 East End 18 West End 20 Tourists 22 Midtown 24 Midwest 26 Upstate 28 Leftfield 30 Stateside


DIRECTOR’S FOREWORD

The Cat Street Gallery is thrilled to present TOURIST, the first solo show in Hong Kong by British artist, Melanie Comber. Comber’s latest body of work features 12 paintings, each displaying the artist’s recognisable skill for applying paint and pigment to canvas, carving enigmatic perspective and spaces into her two-dimensional surfaces. Comber’s palpably textural artworks were first seen here in Hong Kong, to great acclaim, as part of the ‘The British Cut’ group show in May 2012. The artist has continued to explore notions of spatial focus, toying with scale and distance as she layers and carves into paint, and dusts the surface with powdery pigment. Often appearing as aerial views of anonymous landscape - like the surface of the moon - or conversely, magnified microscopic matter - Comber’s works are both ethereal and bold renderings of abstracted landscapes. This latest show, TOURIST, draws on its title’s literal meaning: (n), a person who travels for pleasure, as Comber channels her own experiences - searching for uncharted land, or mining her memory for places she once saw. As viewers, we are tourists, exploring her vision and absorbing her pictorial windows of depth - as if gazing through a lens, searching for a focus point. As Comber investigates the notion of map-making and aerial photography, she explores the premise that reality can be modelled in ways which communicate spatial information effectively - allowing an area which exists in three dimensions to become a symbolic depiction in two - and creating her own monuments to emotional experience.

Mandy d’Abo Founder and Director The Cat Street Gallery

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Plate 1: Downtown Oil and pigment on canvas 90 x 80 cm 2013

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Plate 2: Southside Oil and pigment on canvas 90 x 80 cm 2013

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Plate 3: Uptown Oil and pigment on canvas 90 x 80 cm 2013

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Plate 4: Populous Oil and pigment on canvas 100 x 100 cm 2013

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Plate 5: East End Oil and pigment on canvas 100 x 100 cm 2013

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Plate 6: West End Oil and pigment on canvas 100 x 100 cm 2013

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Plate 7: Tourists Oil and pigment on canvas 120 x 100 cm 2013

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Plate 8: Midtown Oil and pigment on canvas 120 x 100 cm 2013

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Plate 9: Midwest Oil and pigment on canvas 140 x 120 cm 2013

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Plate 10: Upstate Oil and pigment on canvas 140 x 120 cm 2013

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Plate 11: Leftfield Oil and pigment on canvas 130 x 150 cm 2013

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Plate 12: Stateside Oil and pigment on canvas 130 x 150 cm 2013

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BIOGRAPHY

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2013 Tourist, The Cat St Gallery, Hong Kong 2011 No Man’s Land, The Fine Art Society, London 2008 Daytripper, The Fine Art Society, London 2007 Snowglobe, The Fine Art Society, London 2005 Long Distance, The Fine Art Society, London 2004 Voyager, Fosterart, London 2000 Melanie Comber @ Hiscox Art Café, London. 66 Degrees, 33’ N, 18 degrees 01’W, Melanie Comber Paintings from Iceland, The Blue Gallery, London. 1998 Heavy Breathing, The Blue Gallery, London. 1996 Melanie Comber New Paintings, The Blue Gallery, London. 1995 Melanie Comber Paintings, The Blue Gallery, London

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2013 The Alde Valley Spring Festival, Suffolk 2012 The Materiality of Paint, The Fine Art Society, London Small is Beautiful XXV Flowers, London The British Cut, The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong 2011 The Summer Exhibition, The Royal Academy, London Small is Beautiful XXIV Flowers, London Kitchen Projects, Trans Siberian Art Centre touring show 2010 The Marmite Art Prize, Manchester, Coventry, London Small is Beautiful XXVIII Flowers, Central London BFAMI Gala charity Auction, Christies, London

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2009 Volta Basel, with the Fine Art Society 1984, DACS 25th Anniversary Exhibition, The Kowalsky Gallery, London British Painting of the Twentieth Century, David Koetser Gallery, Zurich 2008 Scope London, with the Fine Art Society Scope Miami USA, with the Fine Art Society 2007 Select, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, Scotland Monochromed 2, The Fine Art Society, London 2006 Monochromed, The Fine Art Society, London 2004 Small is Beautiful XXII, Flowers Central, London 2003 3hree, Bcontemporary, London Atlantic, Fosterart, London 2002 Balmy Daze, Houldsworth Fine Art, London 2001 Line Up, Gallery Fine, London British Abstract Painting 2001, Flowers East, London Boriginal, Bcontemporary, London 1999 Bankside Browser, Tate Gallery, London White Out, Gallery Fine, London 1997 Focus, Claus Goedicke, Melanie Comber, Selfridges, London The Nat West Art Prize, Lothbury, London Splash, British Art In America, Raw Gallery, New York 1995 Elemental, The Blue Gallery, London Tusk Force Auction, The Serpentine Gallery, London 1994 SBC European Art Award, Swiss Bank House, London The Contemporary Art Society Art Market, The Royal Festival Hall, London No Turkeys, Raw Gallery, London 1993 The New Art Award, Cubitt Street Gallery, London

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AWARDS 1997 Prizewinner, The Nat West Art Prize, London 1994 Finalist, SBC European Art Award, London 1993 Finalist, The New Art Award, Cubitt Street Gallery, London

PUBLICATIONS Heavy Breathing, The Blue Gallery, published by The Pale Green Press (1998) The Nat West Art Prize 1997, published by Weald Press 66 degrees, 33’N, 18 degrees, 01W, The Blue Gallery, published by The Pale Green Press Artworks, British and German Contemporary Art 1960 - 2000 (ISBN 1 85894 118 0), published by Merrell British Abstract Painting 2001, Matthew Collings (ISBN 1 902 945 271), published by Momentum Long Distance, The Fine Art Society (ISBN 0 905062191) Snowglobe, The Fine Art Society (ISBN 978 0905062 396) Daytripper, The Fine Art Society (ISBN 978 0905062 556) Monochromed, The Fine Art Society (ISBN 0 905 062 302)

COLLECTIONS Deutschebank, Coutts, RBS, Hiscox, RGB Underwriting, Jupiter, Pantheon Ventures, The David Roberts Foundation, Sainsburys and numerous private collections in the UK and abroad.

WEBSITES www.melaniecomber.com www.faslondon.com www.axisweb.org

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The Cat Street Gallery 222 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong / T + 852 2291 0006 / www.thecatstreetgallery.com 36

Melanie Comber: Tourist