Will.je.suis (still), 2020
Archival pigment print on Canson, Infinity Platine, Fibre Rag 310g paper
12 x 16 inches (30.5 x 40.6 centimeters)
Edition of 25
© William Cobbing, 2020.
Through his work, which frequently uses crude materials such as raw clay, William Cobbing creates surreal performative pieces that show the protagonists engaging in repetitive, almost compulsive and incongruous, cycles of manipulating formless surfaces. The relationship to the clay is that of a blind manipulation of the material, sensing and probing the haptic possibilities of the surface rather than attempting to form it into a fixed shape. Actions are repetitive and looped on video, giving the impression of an absurd act of forming that is constantly in motion without any conclusion.
Cobbing studied BA Sculpture at Central St Martins, and de Ateliers artists’ institute in Amsterdam. He was awarded the ACE Helen Chadwick Fellowship at Ruskin School and British School at Rome, resulting in the ‘Gradiva Project’ exhibitions at Freud Museum and Camden Arts Centre (2007-8). Exhibitions include ‘A Secret History of Clay’ TATE Liverpool (2004), ‘Wall to Wall’ TENT, Rotterdam (2005), ‘Room With A View’ Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag (2006), ‘Man in The Planet’ Viafarini DOCVA, Milan (2010), ‘Revolver 3’, Matt’s Gallery, London (2012), ‘Notes Towards a Sculpture Cycle’ NOMAS Foundation, Rome, ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ Hayward Gallery Project Space (2014), ‘Terrapolis’ (Whitechapel Gallery & NEON) Athens (2015), ‘Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials’ GAK Bremen & Kunsthaus Hamburg (2018), ‘The Ground We Have In Common’ Gallerie Delle Prigioni, Treviso (2019). Forthcoming in 2020 is ‘Human After All’ Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, The Netherlands, and in 2021 a residency at EKWC, European Ceramics Workshop.