59 South Edwardes Square
London W8 6HW
24 October 2001 – 26 January 2002
April 27 – June 28, 2002
July 12 – August 23, 2002
‘Vivid’ brings together the work of twelve British and American abstract painters, many of whom have rarely or never exhibited in the UK.
Espousing neither a dry, reductivist formalism or an all-embracing abstraction, the work indulges in different ways in the pleasure and opulence of painting, a hedonistic engagement always within the parameters of the medium.
As opposed to free-style allusion, these artists implicate the viewer in a dynamic tension between reference and process, narratives and materials, structure and intuition. These contradictions and ambiguities encourage an active and intense viewing situation by never allowing the work to settle into fixed meanings and representations.
Torie Begg blurs the distinction between artwork and object by following standard procedures yet ending with paintings stunning in their richness of colour and texture. Recent exhibitions include ‘Making the Making’, Apex Art, New York, (2001) and ‘L’Art dans Ie Monde 2000’, Paris.
Diana Cooper’s maze-like constructions are at once painting, drawing, sculpture and installation. Extending from the wall into the gallery space, they defy easy categorisation. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include a solo show at Hales Gallery, London, (2000), Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, solo, (2002) and ‘Sprawl’, Cincinnati Contemporary Art Centre, Ohio, (2002).
Clem Crosby’s ‘monochrome’ canvasses and paintings on laminate carry a latent intensity in their smudgy, untidy surfaces and gestures. Recent exhibitions include ‘Minimalism: Then and Now’ (Berkeley Art Museum, San Francisco, 2001).
Billed by Artforum last year as a name to watch, Jonathan Feldschuh layers painting, drawing and clear acrylic to create ambiguously sensual paintings which hover between surface and depth, order and chaos. Recent exhibitions include ‘Little Corner of the World’, solo, Cynthia Broan Gallery, New York, (2000).
Based in Los Angeles, Dennis Hollingsworth activates his paintings with an explosive vocabulary of smears, smudges, gestures and blobs which vie for space and attention. Recent exhibitions include ‘Nach Bild’, Kunsthalle Basel, (1999), as well as solo shows in Tokyo, Cologne and New York.
Joan Key’s apparently subdued paintings elude meaning, quietly hinting at possibilities with surfaces that invite attention yet hold resolution in abeyance. A performance for voice and cello, based on Key’s paintings, was presented by the Peer Trust at Shoreditch Town Hall earlier this year. Key’s work was also included in ‘The British Art Show 5’, National Touring Exhibitons, (2000-2001).
Dona Nelson’s paintings, from her recent ‘The Stations of the Subway’ series, counteract their imposing vertical stature by interweaving between Minimalist geometry and its potential collapse and mutability. Recent shows include a solo exhibition at Cheim and Read, New York (2001).
Thomas Nozkowski’s paintings are inhabited by oblique, suggestive shapes and forms which “fade out from the centre”. He is regarded as one of America’s foremost abstract painters, with over forty one-person exhibitions worldwide to date. Recent solo shows include Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, (2001).
Jonathan Parsons’ self-conscious grid paintings ape this Modernist paradigm whilst foregrounding its capacity for allusion beyond artistic conventions. ‘System and Structure’, Parsons’ mid-career retrospective, is touring to a number of British venues throughout 2001. Other recent exhibitions include ‘Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection’, international tour, (1997-1999) and ‘The British Art Show 5’, National Touring Exhibitions, (2000-2001).
Martyn Simpson’s latest paintings are made using standard industrial sheets of 8×4 sterling board. The jagged edges of the compacted wood grain are used as demarcations for bands and zips of vibrant colour which point towards Modernist pastiche and comic-strip aesthetics. Recent exhibitions include ‘Perfidy : Surviving Modernism’, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2001).
Kitcsh advertising imagery is manipulated to the brink of recognition in Michael Stubbs’ new works, where graphics vie with exuberant painting using transparent tinted floor varnish. Recent exhibitions include ‘Elastic Abstract’, Curtain Road Arts, London /Spacex Gallery, Exeter, (1999), and ‘Throb’, Gallery Westland Place, London, (2001).
Art historical and popular culture references intermingle in the paintings of Daniel Sturgis. A repertoire of brightly-coloured motifs cluster around the edge and encroach towards the centre of the picture, managing to combine formal concerns with retro-chic. Recent exhibitions include ‘Complementary Studies’, Harris Museum, Preston, (2001), and ‘Surface Tension : New British Painting’, Holly Snapp Gallery, Venice, (2001).
– Sotiris Kyriacou