A simple device?

illustrated: Strawberry Painting 17 1972

David Platts: One person show – Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield 1974

For the second exhibition in the Upstairs Gallery at the Mappin, we are showing a small selection of the recent work of a young designer and lecturer David Platts.

This series of “strawberry paintings” was produced from 1969 to 1974. Several factors governed David Platt’s original choice of the strawberry for an image. Perhaps the most important of these was the unusual inverted nature of this fruit, which bears its seeds on the outside of the pulpy heart and not, as is more usual, encased within the fruit.

By the simple device, familiarized by Andy Warhol, of radically altering the colours of a standard repeated image, David Platts is able to surprise the viewer out of his familiar ways of looking and to make him question the conventional associations he attributes to the fruit and to the colours.

The questioning is further exploited by the artist in his use of wide-ranging variety of texture from the soft absorbent surface of the canvas to the hard, reflective surface of a metallic finish.

Director of Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, 1978

(The reference to Andy Warhol is an interesting one, indeed one of David Strawberry prints, Strawberry 2, had been hung along side one of Warhol’s iconic ‘Marilyn’ prints at the Third British International Print Biennale at the Cartwright Hall in Bradford in 1972)

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