The last time I took a wrong turn on a road trip I ended up doing one unnecessary lap of Stafford motorway services, but then I’m not an artist. When David Bray and his musician pal George Lubitzer got lost on a recent trip, they found themselves hanging out for a week in a mountain community with a guy named after the protagonist from Catch-22.
Bray came across Yossarian, as the leader was known, after heading out to America so Lubitzer could record the particular sound of tyres on American soil (for purposes not germane to the issue at hand). After convincing the clan that they weren’t calling on behalf of the CIA, the pair spent the week up the mountain, and on leaving were presented with a list of subjects for future projects that they were promised held the key to great artistic fulfilment. Hence the oddball Wrong Turn, Bray’s latest series that sticks faithfully to Yossarian’s prescient prescription. Painted on found boards and framed with salvaged timber, the works feature figures, symbols and animals that suggest Greek, Egyptian and Americana influences. Their seemingly haphazard arrangement is not so at all; the prominent points, to phrase it tactfully, follow the arrangement of star constellations. “The list” consisted of a series of Bray’s previous influences to which Yossarian wrote a counterpoint, and the seemingly opposing forces come together in this collection, on display at StolenSpace Gallery, London, until 12 April.