Joseph Dupre


The best art combines close attention to the particulars of the material world with a certain playful lift-off in the direction of singularity. Even as a child-maker, Joseph Dupré possessed a choice ability to look askance, to see through and across at the world's imaginative possibilities, whether this meant fashioning a pair of tiny, seaworthy-looking sailing boats from bent cardboard or laying the rubber hose of a shower attachment across a cushion to suggest a beached fish. At the age of fourteen he won the Art Scholarship to Dulwich College for a remarkable series of closely observed portraits in line. Since then his drawing and print-making, sculpture and painting have gone from strength to strength, whether it be in the form of a playful and masterful take on an etching by Rembrandt, or one of a recent series of portrait busts made from wax in which he re-imagines the Roman emperor Augustus, he of the ever watchful eye as the portrait bust from Meroe has it in the British Museum, as someone more akin to a mere vulnerable man. His work – whether it be manifested in paintings, prints or sculptures - is versatile, ingenious, assured, and of itself. It is also developing in strength and quality at the speed of light. His is a name to watch.


Michael Glover, Art Critic, Independent