Proclamaton for the Ordinary, 2013  
ROKEBY will take part in the newest Art Basel show in Hong Kong with an installation of new work by Sam Dargan in the Discoveries section of the fair.

Sam Dargan's deeply layered paintings combine ambitiously rendered landscapes with historical narrative. In recent years Dargan has produced a series of grand paintings that allude to a ‘romantic’ ideal of landscape. These paintings incorporate specific historical events that are reimagined by the artist. However, more often than not these important political moments are relegated to the distant background of the painting or go completely unseen, referenced only in the title of the work the often outwardly bucolic landscapes can be enjoyed purely for Dargan’s virtuosity.

Dargan repeatedly turns to periods in European history, to the end of the nineteenth century and turn of the twentieth century and specifically to moments when socialist dreams appeared to be possible, such as the Paris Commune, the first Russian Revolution or the English Diggers Movement. Imagery is sourced, in part, from newspapers and contemporary accounts of the events as well as from the work of Realist landscape painters and early nineteenth century Romantic artists which result in heroic, apparently hopeful landscapes and scenes.

The artist plays deliberately and ironically with the heavy symbolism of the Romantic period as well as with the painterly skills required. Seemingly detached the paintings utilise a flat almost brushless technique which is balanced with a subtle and limited colour range.
 
Recently the artists has been working on landscapes which are some of the largest he has painted to date; ambitious in their execution they retain a dark humour and emotional intensity which was evident in earlier work. The transcendental vistas set the stage for the thinking of Russian Collectivist Anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin and Mikhail Bakunin whose ideas suggested spiritual enlightenment was achievable through Socialist political change. It is under light infused skies that Dargan “...attempts to memorialise these events, as well as offer a chance to escape the fatigue of didacticism”.

In 2010 Dargan was included in the South London Gallery’s exhibition Nothing is Forever. Sam Dargan graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2002, he lives and works in London. He was nominated for the John Moores 25 Contemporary Painting Prize and in 2006 won The 16th Mostyn Open, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Wales.

Discoveries gives a global platform to emerging contemporary artists from all over the world, showcasing work by the next generation of talent at an early stage in their career.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition
Booth 1B33
Wednesday 22.05.2013:
Private View, 12.00 - 17.00, Vernissage, 17.00 - 21.00
Thursday, 23.05.2013, 12.00 - 19.00
Friday, 24.05.2013, 12.00 - 19.00
Saturday, 25.05.2013, 12.00 - 19.00
Sunday, 26.05.2013, 12.00 - 17.00