Rob Chavasse: The gallerist

1 - 31 March 2018


The Sunday Painter is pleased to present The gallerist, an exhibition by Rob Chavasse that reflects on two decades of friendship between Chavasse and Will Jarvis, co-director of The Sunday Painter. Taking the form of a large-scale projection, a single channel video assembles footage of Jarvis, collected by Chavasse over this period, to create an uneasy portrait of a relationship that has shifted and transitioned over time.


Compiled in a montage format, the work borrows its structure and aesthetic from the lo-fi skateboard videos of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, VHS tapes worn out from repeated communal viewing between the two protagonists. In these skate videos, the spaces between action sections are filled with assortments of footage, shots from bleak street happenings to fleeting glimpses from road-trip windows, atmospheres that can only be picked up from the peripheries. The gallerist hones in and makes these edges and spaces its focus, rather than the tricks and action. Instead it is where the tape continues running that the emotions and relationships underlying the action are found.


Shot through an ever evolving range of cameras, a non linear montage unfolds. Drifting geographically and chronologically we follow emotional arcs woven together with a soundtrack consisting of fragments of non-verbal communication, teenage colloquialisms and snatches of familiar songs. A sense of mood emerges as we begin to realise that a complex undercurrent lies beneath the apparent tenderness. The somewhat wistful tone that Chavasse conjures up through his dexterous handling of years of material is emblematic of the fluctuating power dynamic between artist and subject.


Rob Chavasse (1984, UK), lives and works in London. Selected solo exhibitions include: Slow dance, David Dale, Glasgow (2017); March lane diversion, Frieze, London (2017); Codes of conduct, Holy Motors, Hong Kong (2016); Braids, Jupiter Woods, Vienna (2016); The doldrums, Interstate Projects, New York (2016); Earth wire, The Sunday Painter, London (2015); Ghostie, The Royal Standard, Liverpool (2014). Selected group exhibitions include: Overview, SAMUEL, Chicago (2017); In one’s own time, Emalin, Naples (2016); Bloody life, Herald St, London (2016); Groundwork, New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury (2015)