International exhibitions

International 2010 Archives

Brandon Ballengée, The Case of the deviant Toad
RIGB, London (UK)

15 - 31.03.2010


04.06- 15.08.2010


07.09 - 25.11.2012

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Press release

New York artist, activist and ecological researcher, Brandon Ballengée brings his startling high-resolution scanner photographs, video and preserved specimens of deformed toads to the Royal Institution for his first London solo exhibition : The Case of the Deviant Toad. The show, exploring issues of biodiversity and ecological change, presents the outcome of the artist's 'Ecoactions' and study of UK amphibians commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

In this the International Year of Biodiversity, Ballengée's artistic practice warns of high incidences of amphibian deformity in response to environmental degradation through his creation of aesthetically rich images and intriguing installations.

In this exhibition, Ballengée presents variations of his sculptural series Styx which display cleared and stained specimens of deformed toads, each tiny animal presented in a precisely illuminated glass dish. In a gallery context, the specimens resemble translucent gems ; enchanting, terrible and otherwordly. Framed watercolour prints of detailed vibrant specimens scans are reminiscent of x-rays, presenting large-scale images of fragile delicacy to invoke viewer's empathy.

The free exhibition at the Royal Institution, The Case of the Deviant Toad, coincides with the launch of a new publication of Malamp: The Occurence of Deformities in Amphibians by Brandon Ballengée.

Ballengée, now based in New York, has worked with The Arts Catalyst since 2007 leading field trips to Gunpowder Park, Essex, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield to collect specimens which highlight environmental changes which impact on biodiversity.



Brandon Ballengée, The Case of the deviant Toad, RIGB, London

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition March 15 - 31. 2010. The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albermarle Street, London, W1S 4BS. Monday-Friday 9am-11pm.

Full picture credit :

Scanner photographs of cleared and stained multi-limbed Pacific Tree forgs from Aptos, California in created in scientific collaboration with Dr Stanley K Sessions. MALAMP titles in collaboration with the poet KuyDelair; Unique Digital chromogenic prints on watercolor paper, 2001-07. Courtesy the artist, New York City and Nowhere Gallery, Milan.

Detail: Cleared and stained deformed Pacific treefrog from Styx sculpture installed at the Biotechnique Exhibition, Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts, San Francisco 2007. Malamp drawings, 1997-2000 of deformed Pacific Treefrogs from California. Polluted pond water, ash, and leftover coffee on artist-reconstitued paper. Photographs Foto22 courtesy of the artist and private collection, New York City.