Paul Stolper is pleased to present Junk by Keith Coventry, a portfolio of nine new prints, five etchings and four lithographs. The series depicts highly detailed segments of the McDonald’s logo; the etchings in minimalist colours of yellow, red and blue, and the lithographs in black and white. Fragments of the crumpled remnants of McDonald’s wrappers are cropped and positioned within the rectangle of the print in such a way that they become iconic Constructivist compositions. In these prints, he conveys an enduring interest in the dark side of idealism: urban decay and mass consumerism. Coventry says of the series, “I have always been interested in hard, clear, and repeatable images, rather than an atmospheric quality. The color is provided by the McDonald’s logo, and the white or blank space represents a purity, edging out the commercial image in favor of a more abstract composition.”
By abstracting the McDonald’s logo, Coventry re-defines what is a flag-like global corporate logo; subverting something so powerful and omnipresent into beautiful geometric abstract shapes. Each print is mounted in conservation board, which is stamped with the artist’s name, title of the print and date. Echoing the manner in which the British Museum presents and archives their collection, they are immediately bestowed with an historical importance that re-enforces Coventry’s link between his very contemporary work and the legacy of Modernism. This immediately historicises the works and forces people to look at them in a particular way, experiencing them as they would a print in the British Museum.
Keith Coventry was born in Burnley in 1958 and lives and works in London. His work has been exhibited widely in the UK and Europe and is included in collections worldwide, including the British Council; Tate Modern; British Museum; Arts Council of England; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2010 Coventry was awarded the John Moores Painting Prize.