23 March29 April 2023


The utopias to which Ian Kiaer refers over and over are themselves the clues to a truth that is both more simple and profound … with Kiaer, it is that beauty, utopia, and dream are concealed within the most simple elements. The discovery is the result of a joyful journey or redemption: in the second life provided by the exhibition, reused materials appear to meet their true blooming…1

Fabrice Hergott, 2019
Director, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

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Alison Jacques is pleased to announce ‘Endnote, oblique’, an exhibition of new work by Ian Kiaer (b.1971, London) in anticipation of his inclusion in ‘UNBUILD’, that will inaugurate the reopening of London’s Drawing Room, later this year.

For his exhibition at Alison Jacques, Kiaer expands on his ongoing research around the ‘Function of the Oblique’, an architectural notion conceived and promoted by architect Claude Parent and the urbanist and philosopher Paul Virilio. Parent and Virilio sought to radically overhaul what they saw as the paradigm of the vertical and horizontal that had both dominated and crippled urban architecture since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Instead, they proposed a dynamic new architectural model that focused on the body’s attention to its position within a destabilised environment. By employing only sloping surfaces and walls, they wanted to draw attention to how a person experiences and adapts physically to negotiating their architectural space. Relating to this approach is a large-scale painting comprising acrylic and crumpled cellophane on hanji, a handmade Korean paper, its field of colour and modulated surfaces elicite alternate ways for the body’s perception of touch, colour and scale within the gallery spaces.

Kiaer’s expansive new inflatable sculpture, Endnote oblique, silver, hangs from the ceiling speaking to the volume of its surrounding space. Comprising of industrial cellophane, silver leaf and LED lighting, the work began life on the studio floor with the proportions of the gallery in mind. In Kiaer’s words ‘incorporating silver leaf emphasises the fragility of touch, as well as bringing something that is innately valuable to questions of surface’.

For Kiaer, visual and conceptual exploration exists in the residue of utopian ideas that never entirely fulfilled their promise; ideas that now exist between retroactive academic mythology and historical failure. In smaller paintings Kiaer introduces figuration, rendering archival photographs and drawings from the ‘Function of the Oblique’ in delicate, watered-down acrylic, producing a fleeting, ethereal effect similar to watercolour that is then partially obscured by weathered sheets of plexiglass appropriated from bus shelter advertisements. In others, paintings are segmented to fit the form of split-panelled plexiglass advertising, interrupting the way the painted aspect of the work is read and engaged with. Elsewhere, Kiaer leaves baseline grids in pencil visible, and images just started or partially finished, further evoking a duality of anticipation and abandonment, while across the gallery spaces, groupings of works establish a matrix of entry points into Kiaer’s investigation, and ruminate further on the ‘Function of the Oblique’.

Ian Kiaer lives and works in Oxford. Recent museum solo exhibitions include ‘Endnote, (ping)’, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Germany (2020); ‘Endnote, ping.’, Kunsthalle Lingen, Germany (2019); ‘Endnote, tooth’, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2017–2018); ‘Endnote, Ledoux’, Neubauer Collegium, Chicago, US (2016).

In 2018 Kiaer was awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize to develop a body of research and artwork centred on and drawing from the brutalist structure of the panoramic restaurant of Monsanto in Lisbon.

Museum exhibitions include ‘Was Machen Sie um zwei? Ich schlafe’, GAK, Bremen, Germany (2020); City Prince/sses’, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2019); ‘YOU’, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2019); ‘A Slice through the World: Contemporary Artists’ Drawings’, Modern Art Oxford, UK (2018).

Kiaer’s work has been acquired by museums internationally including Tate, London; Arts Council Collection, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Centre Pomidou, Paris and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

1. Ian Kiaer, Archive Books, 2020, p.4

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Endnote oblique, silver, 2023

Silver leaf, cellophane, LED lighting, fan
490 x 410 x 70 cm (192 7/8 x 161 3/8 x 27 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, pink, 2023

Acrylic on plexiglass
254.4 x 127.5 cm (100 1/8 x 50 1/4 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endonte, oblique (black), 2023

Acrylic, pencil, mountain rubble, plexiglass, aluminium
123 x 102.5 x 2 cm (48 3/8 x 40 3/8 x 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, earth, 2023

Cellophane, acrylic, pencil on paper
346.5 x 300 cm (136 3/8 x 118 1/8 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, yellow, 2023

Acrylic, pencil, polythene, plexiglass
198.5 x 127.5 cm (78 1/8 x 50 1/4 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, inflatable (green), 2023

Acrylic, pencil, paper, plexiglass, cardboard, wood, concrete, polythene, fan
Inflatable: 15 x 240 x 50 cm (5 7/8 x 94 1/2 x 19 3/4 in) Acrylic: 125 x 59.5 cm (49 1/4 x 23 3/8 in) Model: 36 x 28 x 25 cm (14 1/8 x 11 x 9 7/8 in)
© Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, white (small), 2023

Pencil, oil, acrylic, tape on linen
35.7 x 31 x 2 cm (14 x 12 1/4 x 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, red, 2023

Cellophane, acrylic on paper
235.5 x 200.5 cm (92 3/4 x 79 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, red (small), 2023

Acrylic, pencil on linen
35.5 x 25.5 x 2 cm (14 x 10 x 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, gold, 2023

Acrylic, pencil, plexiglass, aluminium
82 x 62 x 3 cm (32 1/4 x 24 3/8 x 1 1/8 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, red, 2023

Acrylic, pencil on taffeta
41 x 30.5 x 2 cm (16 1/8 x 12 x 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


Endnote oblique, green (small), 2023

Acrylic, varnish, pencil on linen
46 x 35.5 x 2 cm (18 1/8 x 14 x 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Ian Kiaer


  • Endnote oblique, silver, 2023
  • Endnote oblique, pink, 2023
  • Endonte, oblique (black), 2023
  • Endnote oblique, earth, 2023
  • Endnote oblique, yellow, 2023
  • Endnote oblique, inflatable (green), 2023
  • Endnote oblique, white (small), 2023
  • Endnote oblique, red, 2023
  • Endnote oblique, red (small), 2023
  • Endnote oblique, gold, 2023
  • Endnote oblique, red, 2023
  • Endnote oblique, green (small), 2023



Ian Kiaer

Artist Profile

Ian Kiaer: Endnote, tooth

Archive Books


Ian Kiaer: Endnote, ping

1 February9 March 2019