Cooke Latham Gallery is delighted to open its third exhibition Pasquino by Catherine Story on the 6 September. Catherine Story’s practice explores the intersections between two and three dimensionality, and the space between sculpture and painting. Informed by one another, her sculptural and painted works are theatrically rendered and influenced by the complex approaches of Cubism, film and Art Deco architecture, especially pioneers of the 20th century such as Picasso, Chaplin and Joseph von Sternberg.
While making this show I’m thinking again about symbols of connection and looking at sculptures that are often hidden or overlooked. Pasquino is the most famous of Rome’s ‘talking statues’, standing on a corner overlooking Piazza Braschi where it was unearthed in the 15th Century. Sometimes thought to be named after a witty local tradesman, this battered Hellenistic-style statue has been a place for Romans and travellers to fix anonymous satires and poems ever since. He was likely carved in the 3rd Century BC, but the beautiful Art Deco friezes on the front of the Bonwit Teller store on New York’s 5th Avenue only lasted fifty years. Despite pleas from the Metropolitan Museum of Art who wanted to place them in their collection, in 1980 Donald Trump ordered his workers to sledgehammer them while clearing the lot for his tower. In contrast, the long marble frieze by Gilbert Bayes (1931) on the front of what is now the Odeon Shaftsbury Avenue withstood the Blitz. ‘Drama through the Ages’ depicts actors and troubadours from ancient Greece to the 1930s in one long parade that is often overlooked by passers-by. Down the road, off Piccadilly, there’s a giant owl or eagle on a 6th floor roof quietly watching the city. He’s too high up to be London’s Pasquino so I continue looking for a secret statue, a place to pin our own protestations of love, and disquiet.
(Catherine Story, June 2019)
Based in London, Catherine Story’s work has been exhibited in the following public institutions: Shadow (PEER, 2017-18) and Painting Now: Five Contemporary Artists (Tate Britain, London, 2013). Other exhibitions include Recent British Painting (Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, 2012); and Astoria (2014), Angeles (2012), Cinema (2010) and PYLON (2009), all at Carl Freedman Gal- lery, London. In 2015 she was awarded an Abbey Fellowship at the British School in Rome. Her work is included in both private and public collections.