Richard Purdy : Dental Alphabet

Opening and book launch of The Dental Alphabet, December 2nd from 2pm to 5 pm.

The Dental Alphabet began with Purdy developing an acute case of tinnitus in both ears in 2020. With no medical treatments available, Purdy decided to explore the inside of his head through drawing.

Exploring without moving, Richard discovered that the sound of the ear ringing changed when his tongue touched different teeth. He would draw without looking, touching the upper tooth and then the corresponding lower tooth, producing strangely symmetrical drawings mirroring each other.

The paired drawings are presented in diptych form, with the dental panorama X-ray beside each set indicating the teeth explored. Curator Hélène Brunet-Neumann has written in the accompanying catalogue, realized by design geniuses Criterium, “With his gaze turned toward private inner realms, Richard Purdy’s work reminds us of the unusual gifts we carry within our anatomy : the unexpected in the simplest things, the strangeness of the body.” Calm, sober and a little frightening, this fascinating work will be impossible to view without viewers exploring their own inner realms.

Three years in development, this complex and monumental installation, as well as the book launch of The Dental Alphabet, is on view at Galeries Bellemare Lambert from December 2, 2023  to January 27, 2024.