Sam Jacob: Empire of Ice Cream

Betts Project is pleased to present ‘Empire of Ice Cream,’ a solo exhibition by British architect Sam Jacob. This is the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery, and showcases a series of drawings made on graph paper along with three sculptures that altogether explore the significance of fragmented architecture and our ability to recollect.

Conceived between 2011 and 2019, ‘Empire of Ice Cream’ is a series of thirteen meticulously filled graph paper drawings that show the remnants of architectural plans gathered from an assortment of historic and contemporary references. These elements are sometimes grand and monumental, others banal and generic, but all are summoned impromptu from Jacob’s memory; segments from Ancient Greek temples, football pitches, something Meisian, parts of a church, orchards, fountains, straightforward corridors, a chunk of Parliament, and a Buzzcock’s single cover are some examples.

Jacob first conceived the series in 2011 as part of an invitation to participate in the second edition of San Rocco Magazine: ‘The Even Covering of the Field,’ which explored the idea of ‘the field is where we live’. In their own description of the field, these drawings investigate space as a sprawl of fragments that stretch to the horizon. They probe contemporary space as an all-consuming territory, an inescapable terrain that encrusts the earth and assimilates everything – the densities of cities, the grandest of monuments, the conventions of everyday life, everything built, and even what might be left of the wilderness. They are maps of empires with enclaves and exclaves, borders and passageways, and ever-amalgamating components that make up a sprawling world of conglomerations and aggregations.

‘Empire of Ice Cream’ sits in a tradition that includes Piranesi’s “Campo Marzio” and Archizoom’s “No-Stop City”; drawings that elucidate architectural ideas as much as they do real places, and that give graphic form to concepts and sensations as much as physical structures.

25 January to 9 March 2019
Betts Project
100 Central Street
EC1V 8AJ London, Great Britain
Betts Project
Betts Project