exhibitionScott YoungStorage Solutions04.05—01.07.202356 Conduit Street

04.05—01.07.2023 Wednesday—Saturday
56 Conduit Street

Scott Young excavates images, materials and motifs from a variety of sources spanning from art history to design and fashion. His deceptive paintings sit comfortably between image and object, between the domestic and the industrial, the decorative and the pragmatic. Borrowing techniques of nineteenth-century still-life painting, his works contain resonances of past image worlds. Simultaneously, they create new constellations to propose a painterly vocabulary strongly informed by our (post-)digital condition.

The title of the show derives from Scott’s interest in mid-century interior aesthetics and storage solutions. Aligning modernist design promises with the idea of painting as an alleged storage ‘solution’, the exhibition poses questions around the medium’s relevance in today’s climate and the infrastructures from which it arises.

Scott's fascination with George Nelson's storagewall, a modular storage unit crafted to store "new media'' in 1950s households, stems from the interior designer’s pragmatic design philosophy, partially influenced by his interest in early computing. In light of the burgeoning information age, the storagewall thus reimagined the domestic as a ‘data space’ (Lynn Spigel). Inspired by Nelson's approach and against the backdrop of our data-driven image worlds, Scott combines "old" and "new" media to explore the domestication of technology through storage solutions.

Containing something for future use not only underpins his series of works but also their context of creation: 56 Conduit Street. For the artist, the building itself doubles up as a storage device – a container whose history and aesthetic features inform and frame the motifs of his works. In 1844, the military ornament maker Jennens & Co. opened his business here and a century later it served as flagship store to the clothing brand Alexon. Scott alludes to this historical constellation with deceivingly real looking details of blouses, military buttons, buckles, bows, skirts and other old company stock sourced from Ebay. These motifs are interwoven with an episode from his own family history, the tragic passing of his great great great grandfather, a miner in Butte (Montana), who died in a shaft explosion on New Year’s Day in 1904. A burning shoe, a shiny and almost seductive gas tank, a miner’s lamp, a candle holder and a life jacket subtly negotiate a painterly space between (still) life and death. Wood and marble paneling installed throughout 56 Conduit Street during its 1997 refurbishment become framing devices.

Fasteners, metal racks, wheels and other hardware let his works sprawl beyond their frames suspending them between image and object, sculpture and painting.

Scott’s exploration of the sculptural qualities of painting continue in the second floor gallery. Using William Pahlmann’s electric design principles as the departure point, the immersive walkable tableau lets the viewer travel back in time. Framed by contrasting wallpapers, a carpet and curtain, Scott’s paintings mix Alexon’s 80s clothing and mid-century cabinets with elements and textures from the building's history.The immersiveness of his installation is paralleled with our experience navigating an increasingly frameless digital reality. Scott’s paintings negotiate their condition in this realm reaching beyond themselves. They become containers of memories, miners of histories and markers of time. His works interrogate the elements they contain, the materialities they bring to the fore and the narratives they store.

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Young earned his BA in Philosophy & Aesthetics from The Evergreen State College (2020) and graduated from the MFA program at Goldsmiths University of London (2022). During his masters, Young took a six-month hiatus to study traditional decorative wood and marble painting techniques at Van der Kelen Logelain in Brussels (2020). 

Solo exhibitions include ‘Decoy’, Duarte Sequeria, Seoul (2024); ‘Storage Solutions’, V.O Curations, London (2023); ‘Home Wrecker (Citrus of Sadness)’, Des Bains, London (2022). His work has been included in group exhibitions at Hannah Barry Gallery, London (2023); Galerie Mitterrand, Paris (2023); The Artist Room, London (2022); Hartslane Gallery, London (2022); Florence Trust, London (2021); Propositions Studios, London (2021); AMP Gallery, London (2021); University of Essex Gallery, Essex (2020). 

Scott Young was artist-in-residence at V.O Curations, London (2023) and Superfluous, London (2020).