Tag Archives: painting

Painting: Atoms and Speech Bubbles

23 May 2017 | 6:30 pm | Studio | Tickets £3.00 to £5.00 Book Online

In this panel discussion, chaired by artist and writer Zara Worth, artists Jeffrey Dennis, Kimathi Donkor and Fay Nicolson will discuss their practices in relation to the expanded field of contemporary painting.

Each artist will speak about their individual reference points, as well as how their work negotiates between a kind of surface strategy of collage or appropriation of snapshots, magazine images and other windows onto popular culture and the everyday, and a contemplation on scale of the human in relation to his or her political, historical and molecular context.

The same evening will see the launch of Jeffrey Dennis’s new publication Ringbinder, a monograph based on his solo exhibition at Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art in 2015.  Edited by Andrew Hunt and George Vasey, designed by James Langdon, the book includes essays by Sue Hubbard, Sunil Manghani and Dan Smith, an interview with the artist, and the thoughts of artists, writers, curators and gallery directors including Stephen Bury, Jeffery Camp, Nigel Cooke, Dan Coombs, Penelope Curtis, Dexter Dalwood, Stephen Farthing, Catherine Ferguson, Rebecca Fortnum, Ian Giles, Martin Holman, Timothy Hyman, Elizabeth Magill, Jo Melvin, Eleanor Moreton, Lynda Morris, Andrew Nairne, Mathew Sawyer, Barry Schwabsky, Nicholas Serota, Donald Smith, Damian Taylor, Rob Tufnell, Virginia Verran, Emrys Williams and Sam Windett.

Image: Jeffrey Dennis, The Flowers that Came Again (detail), 2012. 122 x 148 cm, oil & charcoal on linen.

Memories of the Hunt: Paintings and Prints

Memories of the Hunt: Paintings and Prints is a new exhibitions of work by recent CCW PhD graduate Dr Jim Threapleton.

The exhibition explores how paint moves — both in terms of plastic immediacy and subjective potential. Unreliable artefacts of a search for the tipping point where figuration collapses into gesture, the work negotiates the porous boundary between familiarity and estrangement. At such a threshold, resemblance becomes a possibility, but one that ultimately refuses to be realized. The point of abandonment in the painting process exhibits an ambivalence that leaves the spectator with work to do. From a distance the contrast of form against darkness might imply kinship with seventeenth century vanitas painting, but closer inspection reveals the nothing of gesture in place of object.

The spatial values borrowed from visual experience turn on the respiratory rhythms of form and formlessness that emanate from the inconclusive or unresolved nature of gesture — from the throw of a dice. The monoprint is just such a material gamble. The arbitrary and brute force of the press degrades intention, reducing it to a stain of an experience now absent — the ghost of a painting recorded unfaithfully on paper. The painterly phrase that once suggested limitlessness becomes, instead, a statement on the limit of language — on the impossibility of expression.

A number of the paintings come under the title Symptom — as such they are a felt experience. The disrupted, glitching quality of form is symptomatic of a painting process described in terms of sabotage and subtraction. Such reductive methods might be considered sculptural. Painting is distilled to a kind of binary language. Zero or one. Paint or no paint. Mark or non-mark. Depth or flatness. A stark economy actually derived from hours of manipulation, from the push and pull of control and accident, addition and subtraction — from the painfully slow process of painting fastness.

These works, showing at Serena Morton from 10 September to 2 October 2015, mark the culmination of the Jim Threapleton’s Fine Art doctoral research at CCW.

Top image: Symptom XIV, 2015 (Oil on Aluminium, 30 x 30 cm), Jim Threapleton

Strange Attraction

Dear A, I’m attracted to you, and I don’t know why.

            Shall we be friends?

Artworks can write letters too, inasmuch as they reach out, make lines of contact with other artists, and forge an aesthetic of correspondence. In Strange Attraction, a group exhibition of six artists working in a variety of media at APT Gallery, curated by Emily Purser, that correspondence is curated and archived, as the works speak to one another through their shared preoccupations. Sometimes the works’ closeness can be found in the processes in which they have been made, or the materials that have been manipulated, and sometimes it is found in the works’ ideas, its postscripts and its messages.

Many of the artists gathered here are interested in biography, not as a mapped out narrative, but as an affective pool: a script to be rewritten and performed, as pliable as paper. And even when the life is not visible in the works’ imagery, it exists in the frenetic states of matter and experience that the work has endured.

The abject body is a marginal unclean thing, potentially transgressive in its borderline subversiveness. In Lana Locke’s work, the sculptor references this body, but fragments it, creating sculptural installations that suggest, or indeed perform, a loose and perverse corporeality. Heads float. Limbs are scattered about like twigs on the ground. Bloody sheets fall from flowers on plinths. Locke returns to APT Gallery having previously exhibited there in the Creekside Open 2013, where she won Paul Noble’s Selector’s Prize. Her works in Strange Attraction include the pictured sculpture, Bridal Piece III (2014). Locke says, ‘I am thrilled to return to APT Gallery to be part of this beautiful exhibition curated by Emily Purser. My own work in the show is very personal, and it is clear that all the artists have very different approaches. Yet as you walk around the exhibition, many subtle, organic underlying threads emerge between the artworks of the group and they seem to speak to each other. It is a haunting, strangely uplifting exhibition that I am proud to be a part of.’

This mode of identity performance is similarly found in Lady Lucy’s paintings, which draw on documentary and interview research, to create portraits of layered and collaged material, often incorporating art historical gestures and tropes. Defiantly appropriated, the self is rendered a composite artificial object.

Andrew Mania makes art akin to the obsessive habits of a collector, transcribing people and objects. In his work, the autobiographical is recast in small, coloured pencil drawings, and even smaller paintings: a public re-reading of the intimate. The blue eyes of a young boy gaze out from the canvas, affective and abject: it is a look of innocence, melancholy, desire and love.

In Vanessa Mitter’s paintings, the personal is also treated as a pliant material, a source of affect and investigation, but also of fiction and performance. Collage, paint and pigment find a way on to the canvas in ephemeral expressive gestures. There is an abject narrative at play – of lost childhood and drifting brides – but it is a narrative that wanders in and around the artifice of the material.

In Hannah Campion’s work, painting is made into a happening, and then an installation, as her worked on canvases are then reworked into ambiguous three-dimensional forms, which are strewn on the floor or pinned to the wall. The paper or canvas undergoes all kind of processes: it is crushed, trampled, nailed, repaired, collaged. It is an active, performative mode of painting, which is also a site-specific response to the surrounding space.

Eleanor Moreton is similarly interested in painting as performance. In her work, narrative is not so much read as experienced. She provides the protagonist and the prop, often drawing on her own personal histories; but with the medium and its application (part abstract, part figurative), comes an ambiguous appropriation of the primary material. As in the work of the other five artists, the raw is remoulded as an artistic event.

In Strange Attraction, the viewer will find six distinct but correspondent practices, whereby narratives relating to the bodily and the biographical are re-made in painting, sculpture and installation. In these intimate objects, the personal evades our grasp when the performance takes over.

The exhibition is at A.P.T Gallery, 20th March – 5 th April 2015, with a private view on 19th March, 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Curator’s panel discussion and SLAM (South London Art Map) last Fridays opening 27th March, 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Gallery Opening Hours: 12.00-5.00pm, Thursday to Sunday