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Tim Head returns to Modern Art Oxford this September to show a new installation – Displacement – a virtual object placed in a physical space.

A circle of coloured light – green on one side and blue on the other – stands at the centre of the gallery floor. Projected from diagonally opposing ends of the room the red and violet discs of light are focused where they meet in exact registration with each other on a central plane.

With no material surface to fall onto, the two circular projections of light pass through each other and spread out from this centre point in opposite directions across the floor and walls, becoming increasingly less focused as they stretch away from each other.

Tim Head’s work is full of carefully crafted contradictions. In his first exhibition at Modern Art Oxford in 1972 he ‘redrew’ the perimeters of the gallery space using a combination of projections and mirrors. In doing so the viewer was made to almost disappear as reflections renegotiated the architecture and ghost walls overlaid the originals.

More recently, Head’s investigations of light, form and space manifest in an exploration of the elusive substance of the digital medium. These have included large-scale projections of fields of coloured pixels programmed to move in various arrangements across the screen, as well as digital inkjet prints in which direct control of the basic printing operations reveals the fine grain of the inkjet print.

Displacement brings these chapters of Head’s practice full circle. With his trademark delicacy the architecture of the room becomes a device for holding light – the precise articulation of which only becomes visible upon the interaction of the viewer.

Download the Exhibition Guide here: Tim Head Exhibition Guide

Tim Head

Tim Head (b. London 1946) studied at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne [1965-69] and St Martins School of Art [1969-70]. Solo shows include MOMA, Oxford [1972], Whitechapel Art Gallery, London [1974], Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol [1975], Henie-Onstad Kunstcenter, Hovikodden [1978], Kettle’s Yard Gallery, Cambridge [1978], Provinciaal Museum, Hasselt [1983], ICA, London [1985], Whitechapel Art Gallery, London [1992], City Art Gallery, Manchester [1993], Kunstverein Freiburg, Kunstverein Heilbronn, Stadtgalerie Saarbrucken, Kunstverein Braunschweig [1995], Huddersfield Art Gallery [2009], Kettle’s Yard Cambridge [2010], Wilkinson Gallery, London [2011]. Group shows include Documenta 6, Kassel [1977], ‘British Art Now’, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Royal Academy, London [1980], British Pavilion, Venice Biennale [1980], 15th John Moores Liverpool Exhibition – awarded 1st Prize [1987], ‘Days Like These’, Tate Triennial, London [2003] and 7e Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon [2003], ‘The Indiscipline of Painting’, Tate St Ives and Mead Gallery, University of Warwick [2011-12]. Public commissions include National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford [1985], Science Museum, London [1995], Artezium Arts and Media Centre, Luton [1998], Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford [2008].