David Robilliard: The Yes No Quality of Dreams
16 Apr 2014 – 15 Jun 2014
‘Hopefully, this exhibition of paintings from the last few years of his life marks the start of his artistic rehabilitation, because his work really is utterly delightful’ ★★★★
– Time Out
The ICA brings together a selection of paintings by London-based poet and painter David Robilliard in the first UK institutional exhibition for over twenty years. These intimate paintings combine figurative elements with text taken directly from Robilliard’s own poems. Coded and knowing, his evocative prose alludes to intimate sexual encounters and passing infatuations that ultimately conjure an image of 1980s queer London.
Robilliard moved to London in 1975 and would become close friends with Gilbert & George, momentarily appearing in the film The World of Gilbert & George (1981). Throughout the 1980s Robilliard published books and postcards of his poetry, as well as contributing to publications such asThe Fred, Square Peg and The Manipulator. Robilliard was described by Gilbert & George as ‘the new master of the modern person’.
Box of Tricks – My Ass, 1987
What’s in It for me, Mate, 1988
Robilliard’s paintings appeared in numerous gallery exhibitions during his lifetime, as well as exhibiting in venues such as London’s Hippodrome and L’Escargot restaurant. In 1993, a major retrospective was held at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.