"To encounter the work of Robert Montgomery is to make a tender encounter whose tenderness is enhanced by the public, communal quality of his work. To encounter his work is to have your body filled with a sad thunder and your head filled with a sad light."
- Dane Weatherman
No one has blended language, form and light in such a direct way as Robert Montgomery. From December 4 to January 29, the Scottish-born, London-based artist who stands out by bringing a poetic voice to the discourse of text art, presents the vitality and richness of his work at Danysz Gallery - Paris.
Verse after verse of translucent and intuitive poetry, Montgomery invites us to reflect on ways to salvage paradise, rebuilding it from wreckage and going back to a natural sense of peace through an awe-inspiring melancholic yet hopeful lyricism. As he explains, “I think melancholy is really interesting, because it is the creation of beauty from sadness… It's only when we begin to destroy the planet that we realize we were living in paradise.”
For Salvage Paradise, his first solo show within the walls of Danysz Gallery, the artist who works in a conceptual post-Situationist tradition, recreates the wealth and complexity of his universe with light installations, paintings, woodcuts, watercolors, photographs of his fire poems (works with fire as a nod to Celtic tradition) and digital works.
Cutting to the core of the most crucial issues of our times, Montgomery who defines himself as an "artist who works with poetry,” works in language and is best known for his site-specific installations, light, solar, fire and space. Commenting on our contemporary society and highlighting his personal and philosophical beliefs, he engages completely with the public through his evocative, cryptic and emotionally resonant art.
"In his work Robert Montgomery proves why and how poetry is of the utmost importance today, maybe more than ever. Poetry helps us link our inner world and dreams, terrors, desires… to the world around us. Poetry is sharing our inner world with the world. This is the magic of Robert Montgomery’s art."
- Barbara Polla, Writer & Art Curator
Robert Montgomery was born in 1972 in Scotland. He was initially inspired by the graffiti artists of East London, the concrete poetry of Ian Hamilton Finlay, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin, but also the philosophy of Guy Debord, and the art of James Turrell. He was the British artist selected for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012, the first biennale in India, and the Yinchaun Biennale in 2016. He has had made public installations across Europe including major outdoor light installations on the site of the old US Air Force base at Tempelhof in Berlin. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas and the Albright Knox in New York. He has had solo museum projects at the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City, and the Cer Modern Museum in Ankara. He has worked with low consumption LED lighting and solar power since 2010 and he was one of the official artists for ArtCOP21 in Paris in 2015. His work is hugely popular on the internet, the piece “The People You Love Become Ghosts Inside of You” has been shared online more than 20 million times.