States of Fear is a new exhibition at Standpoint Gallery in London that will showcase the boldly confrontational work of British artist Michael Peel.
One of a generation of artists who thought of art as a mechanism for social change, Peel’s vivid screen-printed poster works and photographic installations remain as powerfully fresh and relevant today as they were during the '80s and '90s. His work exposes social and political injustices, confronting subjects such as power and control, revolt and war, culture and economics.
Peel’s visual style combined text excerpts and grainy imagery from television and print with dynamic, attention-grabbing composition. His pivotal poster series, Modern World, shown simultaneously in galleries and flyposted on billboards, hoardings and lampposts, were part of a strategy to reach a popular audience.
His posters were heavily influenced by the idealism of the post-war period; the hedonism of 1960’s; the hardened realities of the political and social upheavals of the 1970’s to 90’s; and the dawn of the informational age.
Born in Singapore at the outbreak of the Second World War, Peel and his mother were forced to flee the invading Japanese army, becoming refugees in search of safety and sanctuary. His father, taken prisoner to work on the infamous Burma railway, never returned. This childhood trauma led Michael to become an artist and teacher with humanity and warmth, practising art that represented social and political injustices.
States of Fear will be on display at Standpoint Gallery in London from 9 November to 8 December 2018. More information at www.standpointlondon.co.uk.