The Mauve Decade

Launch Pad presents the second site-specific commission at the home of founder Sarah Elson. San Francisco-based artist Josh Faught has created a work in response to the site’s history as a Victorian suburb and safe haven from unhygienic conditions in the City of London.

The title “The Mauve Decade” encapsulates aesthetic, political and historical shifts and fashions that were at play in the 1890s, during the development of suburban London. Staying physically safe, protected from unsanitary conditions and airborne pollutants of the city centre in later 19th century was a primary driver in the exodus of Britain’s wealthier citizens to the suburbs. Faught is interested in “this space of transition and restlessness that led people to create homes and environments that were boundaries, protective havens, and sites of isolation.” As Faught explains, the colour mauve “is an incredibly divisive color; at once garish and slightly noble.” Derived from aniline purple dyes that were later discovered to be completely toxic, mauve was originally more of a royal purple.

“The Mauve Decade” addresses themes of transition and time, danger and protection, occupying the centre of the house with several works.

An In-Conversation with the Artist and Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, took place on the 28th June.

Josh Faught, The Mauve Decade, 2014, Launch Pad, London. Installation view. Photography: Noah Da Costa.

The Mauve Decade, 2014. Detail.