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Leah Capaldi: Big Slit 21–30 May 2021 | Lay Down 11 November–18 December 2016 | Editions | Artist’s Website

Leah Capaldi

11 November–18 December, Friday–Sunday 12–6pm | Private View: Sunday 06 November, 3–6pm | Matt’s Gallery, 65 Decima Street, London, SE1 4QR

Leah Capaldi, Lay Down, 2016. Image courtesy of Matt’s Gallery and the artist.
Press Information
Lay Down is the first major solo show by artist Leah Capaldi. The exhibition opens Matt’s Gallery’s new temporary space in Bermondsey, marking a new era for the gallery as it moves south of the river.

Lay Down is an entirely new work by Capaldi, a site-specific installation involving a video sculpture with continual performance, inspired by her time in the deserts of the American West. Here, Capaldi met a Utah cowboy and his horse, a film exploring their relationship and the vast, performative landscape that surrounds them forms the core of the installation. Lay Down asks how power is constructed and understood, this question arising throughout the installation, in the iconic figure of the American cowboy, the influence of the sublime landscape and the authority of the screen.

The crossover area between the disciplines of sculpture and performance are of particular interest to Leah Capaldi’s practice, with echoes of the seminal performance work of the late 1960s and early 70s. Capaldi’s work explores the pivotal relationship between object or subject, encouraging the audience to question themselves in relation to the work and playing with notions of surveillance and spectatorship.

Video, 5.1 surround sound, projectors, steel frame, silicone screen, timber, cortex, plasterboard, light bulbs, roll matt, foam, timer and male performer. Dimensions variable. Video Duration 21 mins.

Download Press Release with a text by the artist.

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Leah Capaldi: Lay Down at Matt’s Gallery is generously supported by The University of Brighton, 5A Studios and Arts Council England.

With thanks to: West Taylor, Bill Roberts, Elliot Ross, Jason Moffat, Roddy Canas, Paul Russell, Barbara Capaldi, Arthur Manzo, Al Gunby, Elias Bate, Angus Braithwaite, Lawrence Leaman and Tim Lucas from Price and Myers.

Performer Credits: Jonathan Caruana, Josh Gardener, Gordon Raeburn, Bless Klepcharek.


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Born Chertsey, UK 1985, Lives and works in London. Studied 2008-10 Royal College of Art, Sculpture, and 2004-2007 University of Brighton, Sculpture. Selected Exhibitions and Performances 2015 ICA, London; 2014 Witness Matter, Vitrine, Bermondsey; Hum, ART14, London; Hung, Serpentine Gallery, London; Allure, Perf4m, ARTISSIMA, Italy; Leg, 35 Birthday Party, Matts Gallery, London; 2013 No Questions, Ausstellungsraum, Basel, Switzerland; mass.en mass. mass medium, Café Gallery Projects, London; 2012 Invites, Zabludowicz Collection, London; Incubate Festival, Tilburg, Holland; Parts & Labour, Camberwell Space, London; Give Me Strength In My Heart, Copenhagen Space, London; Prop, Vitrine, Bermondsey Square, London; Everything, ICA, London; 2011 New Contemporaries, ICA, London; New Contemporaries, Site Gallery/ S1 Artspace, Sheffield; FRIEZE Night, David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Week Five, The Hole, London; The Caitlin Art Prize 2011, The Tramshed, London; The King and The Minotaur, Wignall and Moore, London; Gluegun, The Hospital Club, London; 2010 The Plaza Principle, Leeds Plaza, Leeds; EXPOSURE 2010, Parasol Unit, London; London Lola, Kunstverein Familie Montez, Frankfurt; Young Gods, Charlie Smith, London; SHOW RCA, Royal College of Art, London; Park Night, Pump House Gallery, London; Unitary Structures, STEW, Norwich; Embrace RCA at ECA, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh; Testing Ground: Live, Zabludowicz Collection, London; 2009 Making Mistakes, Tim Prichard, London; Sausage Nose, Kunsthochschule, Berlin; A Race Against Myself, Tim Pritchard, London; The Fifth Plinth, 145 Gallery, London; Summer Show, Royal College of Art, London; Making Mistakes, Paradise Row Gallery, London; 2008 Work in Progress, Royal College of Art, London; 2007 Degree Show, University of Brighton, Brighton, 2006 NOISE, URBIS, Manchester; NOISE - Liverpool Biennial, Matthew Street Gallery, Liverpool; Through Me, Grand Parade Gallery, Brighton; 2005 Show One, Admit One, Media Centre, Brighton. Residencies & Awards 2015 ACME Firestation, LIVE/WORK residency, 2014 The Arts Foundation Yoma Sasburg Sculpture fellowship 2012 Girton College University of Cambridge Residency finalist 2011 Catlin Art Prize finalist 2010 Parasol unit EXPOSURE award 2009 Stanley Picker bursary 2006 Michael Hick prize for sculpture

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2015 Jack Smurthwait ,"Leah Capaldi at the ICA, touring Isa Genzken." Giuseppina Greci, "When performance art meets Artissima: Interview with Leah Capaldi",, January 2015; 2014 Natalia Sielwicz, "Allure, Leah Capaldi", Per4m, Artissima 2014 Catalogue, November 2014; Griselda Murray Brown, "Curator Ziba Ardalan and Parasol Unit, her non-profit art gallery in east-London", Financial Times newspaper, June 2014; Ian Silvera, "How Noise Festival Breaks Down "Nepostic" Barriers of UK Creative Industries,, June 2014; "Recommended Reading: Leah Capaldi", ARTLICKS Magazine, May 2014; Paul Carey Kent, Leah Capaldi and Stephanie Saade, Frieze Magazine, April 2014; "Winter Report: Leah Capaldi and Stephanie Saade", Traction Magazine, February 2014; Susie Pentelow, "Witness Matter", wsimagazine,com, January 2014; Paul Brad, "Arts Foundation Awards: Spirit of Innovation", ancienttofuture, January 2014; Aine Carlin, "Witness Matter",, January 2014; 2012 Ellen Mara De Wachter, "INVITES Leah Capaldi", Zabludowicz Collection, November 2012; Chantelle May Purcell, "SPOTLIGHT no.1 Vitrine Gallery: Encountered",, June 2012; Paul Carey Kent, Art Exhibition in Review 2011 by Paul Carey Kent, Artlyst, January 2012; 2011Claire Hazelton, "Bloomberg New Contemporaries", The Student Newspaper, December 2011, Elizabeth Hommersham, "Bloomberg New Contemporaries scenting the trail",, December 2011; Coline Milliard, "4 Hot Young British Artists to watch from the ICA"s New Contemporaries Show",, November 2011; Aaron Hammond, "Avant Art, Glass profiles the most exciting artists", Glass Magazine, November 2011; Amy Sherlock, "Amy"s London, Frieze Openings, Events/Happenings/Performances at David Roberts Art Foundation, artfridge,de, October 2011; Vanessa Thorpe, "Next generation turns its back on Emin and Hirst"s Conceptual artworks",, May 2011; Emma Love, "Scents and Sensibility: Leah Capaldi spray actors in Chanel for performance piece", the, May 2011; "Caitlin Art Prize artist number 4",, May 2011; Dr Richard Cork, "Does the recession inspire Avant Garde art?", The Shortlist Magazine, February 2011; "The Artists to watch in 2011", the, January 2011; 2010 Rachel Segal Hamilton, "EXPOSURE 10",, October 2010; James Cahill, "EXPOSURE 10", Publications Paul Luckraft. Zabludowicz Collection: INVITES, Cassochrome, Beveren-Leie. 2015; Ziba Ardalan, Parasol unit : London 2004 - 2014, Parasol unit, 2014; Edward Lucie Smith and Zavier Ellis, 100 London Artists Volume 2, Elizabeth Beecher Publishing, 2014; Sacha Craddock, Peter Osborne, Eileen Daly and Rebecca Heald, New Contemporaries 2011, Bloomberg Publications, 2011; Justin Hammond, The Catlin Guide 2011, Catlin Holdings ltd, 2011.

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