A Seat in the Kingdom Exhibition
A Seat in the Kingdom was Josh Agle’s tenth solo exhibition for the Outré Gallery in Australia. The exhibition was held in Melbourne from the 17th March to the 7th April 2017, and in Sydney from the 25th March to the 2nd April 2017. Shag attended the opening night receptions on the 17th and 25th March and the book signings on the 18th and 26th March.
Fifteen original acrylic on panel paintings were shown at A Seat in the Kingdom along with an exclusive limited edition print. Another twelve limited edition serigraph prints were displayed at the exhibition including two studio proofs, one editor proof, and eight artist proofs. Shag said of the exhibition “Each painting in the upcoming Outré show is inspired by a specific mid-century designer. It’s a subject I’ve played around the edges with in the past, but I have never really paid tribute to the men and women who designed the furnishings that are an ever-present fixture in my paintings. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the homes and studios of some of these people, like the American designers Charles and Ray Eames and the Australian designer Grant Featherston, and that is what spurred the idea behind this group of paintings”.
The paintings within the A Seat In The Kingdom exhibition are an exploration in muted colors by Josh Agle. The well-shown saturated hues are mixed with desaturated colors such as brown and grey. In each painting, a woman reclines surrounded by beautiful objects and sometimes a pet, additionally each picture includes a reference to the designer of the furniture which they sit upon.
The invite to A Seat in the Kingdom sent out from the Outré Gallery is shown below.
The first painting is Bâti Mon Nid (Built My Nest), a song by French singer-songwriter Françoise Hardy. Françoise appears in the painting, sitting nude in a 1956 Eames Lounge (670) Chair (a chair she owned in the 1960s), playing the guitar for her white cat who sits on an Eames Ottoman (671). A photograph on the sideboard shows the American designers of the chair, Charles and Ray Eames. The lady in Conquest of the Mountain sits on a Tulip/Pedestal Chair, designed in 1956 by Finnish American Eero Saarinen, eating her Kellogg’s Honey Corn. In Dansk Mobelkunst, the lady speaking on the telephone has her feet resting on a 1951 Hans Jørgensen Wegner Papa Bear Chair. Hans Wegner was a Danish furniture designer and this was his first chair with Danish joinery workshop PP Møbler.
In Helsinki Syndromen (Helsinki Syndrome) a blonde lady relaxes in a 1963 Ball/Globe Chair created by Finish designer Eero Aarnio. The picture also includes The Puppy, a sculpture designed in 2005. Oddly, Helsinki syndrome is used in Die Hard and Babylon 5 instead of Stockholm syndrome but it is actually mentioned in the Nation magazine in 1985 as ‘Most feared of all Scandinavian disorders is Helsinki Syndrome, in which positively charged particles of information afflict the victim’s central ideological system, causing him to question America’s absolute moral superiority in the cold war. Specialists in the field refer to victims of the syndrome as being “Finlandized”, thus beyond recuperation”. La Dernière Pierre (the last stone) shows a well-dressed lady poised on a 1966 Ribbon Chair by French furniture and interior designer Pierre Paulin. In Seven Past Eleven the happy lady in white relaxes in front of a Marshmallow Love Seat #5670 (popularly known as the Marshmallow Sofa) produced by American furniture company Herman Millar. The sofa was designed by Irving Harper and originally attributed to George Nelson as was the practice for the company.
The couple in The Bush Ranger sit in 1969 Stem Dining Chairs by Australian furniture designers Grant and Mary Featherston. In the foreground is the Featherston Contour Chair and Ottomen. In The Instructional, the lady with the cocktail relaxes on a Harry Bertoia Large Diamond Chair with full cover. The gentleman watches the television from a Knoll Bertoia Bird Chair and Ottoman. With The Man from Copenhagen, the guitar player strums in an Egg Chair while the pipe smoker sits on a Swan Sofa, both by Arne Jacobsen
The exhibition included six smaller eight-inch square acrylic paintings on walnut panels. Each painting includes a stylized cat on a mid-century modern chair.
Limited Edition Serigraph Prints
The exclusive new serigraph print Before the Deluge was released at the exhibition and is from the 2016 Mad About Mid-Century: Tribute to Eames show at Gallery Nucleus in California, USA. The print was limited to one hundred copies plus thirty artist proofs.
Artist Proofs Serigraph Prints
Several artist proof prints were exhibited and sold at the exhibition, those listed have been included below.
Editors Proof & Studio Proof Serigraph Prints
A very rare editors proof of Holmby Hills was included in the exhibition in addition to two rare studio proofs – It’s My Party and I’ll Hire the Beatles If I Want to and Palm Springs Afternoon.
Serigraph Print (25 SP)
Size: 110 x 65 cm
$1,345 AUD (framed)
And finally, here are some photographs from the A Seat in the Kingdom gallery installation and exhibition opening.