‘All about everything… and a little bit more’ was the slogan of The Quid, an encyclopedia published annually from 1963. At the time it was the most popular encyclopedic reference work in France. From the price of a kilogramme of potatoes in the north of Hungary to sports results and from cocktail recipes to cha-cha techniques, almost everything was in it. Usually sitting beside the Guiness Book of World Records in most middle class homes; it was updated every year until its extinction in 2007 due to the success of the Internet. From this date, facts have been archived online and the infinite capacity of the computer has replaced the parchment paper of this book in which you couldn’t find anything but had to remember everything.
Archiving ideas is certainly one of the most interesting characteristics of Owen Piper’s work. Producing three paintings a day on average, Piper is inspired by everything from international politics to footballers boots and from animals habits to fancy cars. This compulsive collection of eclectic references results into a daily feed of images and abstract colourful compositions. With the strong ‘readymade’ aspect of his practice, Owen produces a contemporary commentary through objects, which sit between the Almanac and the Encyclopedia. Far from being lyrical, Owen’s work has a firm grip on reality and daily news, crafted with a straightforward and a slightly irreverent approach..
By its unique volume, Piper’s production moves closer to that of a sculptor rather than a painter. Like most artists, Owen has this tendency to accumulate things; all kinds of things… mostly banal, in order to use them one day as painting matter. Owen has selected four very common materials to assemble into display units for the paintings to be exhibited in SWG3 Gallery, mirroring his studio environement. The Quid takes a different look at Owen Piper’s practice, contextualising 365 paintings in an ambitious sculptural diary for the first time.
Curated by Camille Le Houezec & Joey Villemont