Peter Wylie

CONCRETE [Béton Brut]

08 Apr 2011 - 28 Apr 2011

Private View: 18.30 - 20.30

Exhibition from 8 to 28 April - by Appointment on 020 7247 1816


“Modernist estates were, we are told, ‘alien’, irruptions into our homely, traditional streets, illegible and totalitarian edifices, ‘eyesores’ that are best pulled down. Peter Wylie’s paintings show something very different. In his paintings of Erno Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower, the life going on inside the building is as obvious as the proud, stark exteriors. In these paintings, and so it’s implied, in the buildings too, everyday city life and a monumental modernism live together unassumingly.”
Owen Hatherley*

Eleven Spitalfields Gallery is delighted to present a new body of work by Peter Wylie. This series of paintings, initially called ‘Buildings’, was formally launched at a much publicised exhibition 2 years ago in Erno Goldfingers iconic Balfron Tower in east London, in a show flat high up on the 21st floor, an entirely appropriate venue to examine the visionary social housing developments of the 1960’s. In this show we are asked to acknowledge that their optimism may be far from the decaying estates of today. In the light of our current economic dilemma, is it right to demolish these estates? Can we not embrace their vision and bring them forward in the 21st century in terms of an environmental response?

An exclusive loan has been granted to the gallery by two private collectors: ‘Goldfinger three’ created specifically for the ‘Buildings’ Show, and the first to include Le Corbusier flaking paint, of which, for her review in AJ magazine, Jess Bowie wrote, “The presence of this paint on the canvasses gave the event –which now not only moved from Le Corbusier to Goldfinger to Wylie to Goldfinger, but, via the flake, back to Le Corbusier again – a satisfying, if dizzying, circularity. It also added an elegiac note, reinforcing the sense of dilapidation and of a utopianism that has not weathered well”.

The show will include the first public showing of ‘Smithson & Smithson one’ the other painting on loan, produced for the award winning documentary film, ‘Robin Hood Gardens (Or Every Brutalist Structure For Itself), showing too alongside the painting.
Peter Wylie’s work can be seen alongside iconic Twentieth Century art collected by Goldfinger for his home 2 Willow Road, and now under the care of the National Trust His painting heavily featured in the publicity for the Threadneedle Prize 2009, and he was a winner in last years Lynn Painters-Stainers Prize.


*Owen Hatherley is author of the acclaimed Militant Modernism and A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, and writes for a variety of publications including Building Design, Frieze, the Guardian and the New Statesmen.