Hobson’s Choice – Eddie Peake at White Cube

22 March 2013 By
Eddie Peake, 'Adjective Machine Gun', Inside the White Cube, North Galleries, Bermondsey, London (6 March - 21 April 2013) © Eddie Peake Photo: Ben Westoby Courtesy White Cube

6 March – 21 April 2013

144 – 152 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ


Open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 – 18.00, Sunday 12.00 – 18.00

Eddie Peake is an artist who has become fashionable over the past couple of years – despite still being a student at the Royal Academy Schools – for a multi-faceted practice that ranges across photography, painting, neon sculpture and performance.  Threading through his diverse practice is an understanding of identity as a joyful masquerade, exploring the realms of voyeurism, sexuality and gender.  His new sculptural installation in the North Galleries of the White Cube gallery in Bermondsey takes as its starting point the iconic modernist penguin pool designed by architect Berthold Lubetkin for ZSL London Zoo in 1943, which acts as an amphitheatre for performances by dancers and musicians during the course of the exhibition. During my visit a naked young man in a transparent body-suit and roller-skates lounged about, then wended his way throughout the space – not an easy look to pull off whilst keeping your masculinity intact.  Not that I would know…  On the gallery walls are a number of paintings on polished stainless steel where a haze of highlighter-coloured spray-paint with jaunty lettering (made using masking tape) exposes the mirrored surface beneath spelling out statements like Crushingly Hopeless and Dead Ur Lovers.  There are wall-based neon sculptures of a muscular faun – who reappears through Peake’s practice – along with a group of black and white photographs of a naked man and women (also black and white) in choreographed poses.  A cluster of abstract sculptures in concrete and highly polished off-white plaster – like ill-formed giant molars – give the surrounding images and structure an organic, sexualised air, further heightened by the flesh-toned and black silk tasselled scarfs draped on neon works on the walls.  The environments that Peake recreates combine a homo-erotic charge with a type of fatigue and disappointment linked to other forms of consumption.  Peake is considered by many to be a young artist to watch – I wonder what you think?

Main image: Eddie Peake, Adjective Machine Gun, Inside the White Cube, North Galleries, Bermondsey, London (6 March – 21 April 2013) © Eddie Peake. Photo: Ben Westoby, Courtesy White Cube.