Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Against Nature by David Batchelor

Against Nature by David Batchelor

All images © Daisy Hutchison

Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme on behalf of Mead Gallery, University of Warwick with funds from the Arts Council Lottery, 2005

Let us know your thoughts about this sculpture on twitter @warwickuniart

David Batchelor suggests that colour is found in urban environments but it is a concept with which the west is uneasy – colour is kitsch, infantile, immoral, seductive. It is associated with the ‘other’. In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy emerges from her black and white Kansas world into the technicolour of Oz.

In his book Chromophobia, David Batchelor quotes the philosopher Roland Barthes:

 “Colour … is a kind of bliss … like a closing eyelid, a tiny fainting spell ….. If I were a painter, I should only paint colours; this domain seems to me free of both the Law … and Nature (for after all, don’t the colours of nature come from the painters?)”

This work is undeniably urban - against nature. The colours reflect the neon liveries of shops, they are cased in discarded signage boxes found in skips. Batchelor hopes that it will give the people in this building pleasure, a kind of bliss, as the colours reflect endlessly through the glass panels and windows of this work place.

This work was purchased for the University of Warwick Art Collection by the Contemporary Art Society Special Collections Scheme funded by the Arts Council England Lottery.