The recycling of past styles has become an established way of making art as well as fashion and music to the point where the concept of Retro is now an integral aspect of contemporary popular culture. The most noticeable thing about the teenage kids that hang around on street corners looking like the latest generation of punks and Goths is that everything has been watered down. They don't look angry or threatening, but that isn't the point for them - they're not trying to do it again, they're just trying to do it now. Putting on someone else's clothes doesn't put you in 1977 so what is the appeal of Retro? Partly it is about borrowing the legacy of a previous era with the same casual commitment as putting on a T-shirt. After all, the 1990s proved that it is possible to relive all the best trends of the past whilst adding a contemporary twist to invent something new rather than just making a nostalgic nod to the past.
Appropriating images from art history is an accepted genre within contemporary art. In recent years artists have expanded this method of working by mixing up art references with fashion trends from different eras and sampling materials and imagery from popular culture of the recent past - reworking and updating them so they converge within a new, unified form. For the artists in this group exhibition Brand New and Retro, looking old has become part of looking new. Each artist adapted or worked directly over the top of an existing style of art, object or image, re-inventing it and making it their own. Participating Artists included: Matt Calderwood, Luke Caulfield, Tanya Fairey, Dara Friedman, Kirsten Glass, Douglas Gordon, Jun Hasegawa, Jim Lambie, Peter Liversidge, Kristen Lovelock and Toby Ziegler.
Brand New and Retro was curated by Gemma de Cruz and Emma Underhill.