Magda Archer: Crazy Mad

Crazy Mad is a solo painting show by British artist Magda Archer, presenting a cross section of works made from her home studio over the last decade. Inspired by her vast collection of paraphernalia from the 1950s onwards – sweet jars, biscuit tins, toys and other ephemera – her playful yet dark paintings straddle a surreal-pop kitsch sensibility.

For Crazy Mad, alongside her paintings, Archer will install a replica of her studio with all the trimmings, which she describes as ‘a beautiful cosy grotto’. Whilst working alongside her collections of objects, Archer listens to a vast range of music that often seeps into her paintings. And so a specially selected soundtrack will feature her favourite tunes to date in the replica space.

Archer’s method of painting is painstaking – as she says: “I like to concentrate so hard my eyes are watering”. Amongst the acidic sugar coated colour palette of Archer’s paintings there are often distinctive typefaces, reminiscent of sweet wrappers, comics, annuals and B movie posters.

At Cornerhouse, visitors will navigate through Archer’s replica studio to enter the gallery where clusters of her works will be grouped as ‘So many people love you baby’, ‘I don’t like Art-I Love it’, ‘Furry Friends’ ‘Strange Kids’ and ‘ Come to me my Melancholy Baby’. The paintings will be illuminated by an eclectic selection of domestic lamps and lights. Archer’s show will echo a kleptomaniac searching for escapism from the mundane landscape of domesticity through the act of painting and collecting.

Magda Archer trained at Ravensbourne College of Art, Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art before embarking on a series of group exhibitions. In 1996 she produced artwork for The Beatles Anthology in partnership with Peter Quinnell. Since then she was the co-writer and illustrator of the Harry Hill Fun Book. Some of the artwork produced for the fun book appeared in Peter Blake; About Collage at the Liverpool Tate in 2000. She participated in the group shows Kiss of a Lifetime at Vane, Newcastle in 2009 and in London Calling at Idea Generation Gallery, London in 2010. She has written and illustrated a children’s book, Watch Out Arthur! and most recently a book where art meets comedy, What the Stars Buy!

Exhibition supported by: