(b. 1983 Toronto, Canada)
“ø IV,” 2011
Stainless steel mirrored pan, 20 liters of Cinnamint Listerine
3/4″ x 57″ x 35″
Steve Bishop often works in serial format, revisiting and reworking visual tropes as an ongoing investigation of material and form. Earlier series include “My Work Here is Done,” “As If You Could Only Kill Time Without Injuring Eternity,” and “Φ” (2010-ongoing), on view here. Φ (the Greek letter Phi) is the symbol for the mathematical concept known as the golden ratio, which has informed art and architecture for millenia. When used as a guideline for composition, the exacting proportions of “golden section” or “golden rectangle” are said to maximize visual pleasure. While Bishop’s Φ showcases this ideal geometry, Listerine, the other component of the sculpture, subverts those feelings by overwhelming viewers with an olfactory assault, exemplifying the wryness constant throughout Bishop’s work. Humorously theatrical in its decontextualization of materials (a nod to critic Michael Fried’s indictment of the visual tradition Bishop’s work continues), Bishop embraces the reality of objects employed in his work. For Performance Anxiety, Bishop has created a new, geographically specific edition of Φ, using a vivid purple-hued flavor of the mouthwash that is only available in the United States. The show is also his first US exhibition; his work has previously been shown at the Zabludowicz Collection, Saatchi Gallery, and numerous locations throughout the United Kingdom. Bishop holds an MA from the Royal College of Art and works in London.