Emma Fineman

Emma Fineman’s paintings are, quite broadly, pictorial representations of time in contemporary culture. In a day and age where our perception of time is distorted, Fineman attempts to interpret time and memory through gestural marks that attempt to record and trace the present and the past. Her paintings appear like palimpsests, where the viewer is able to see the ghostly traces of marks the artist has made in the creation of any one painting. Fineman says her works exist ‘between the quick note-to-self, and the more prolonged meditation,’ and what remains are the large, sweeping memories that remain ‘with an unnerving permanence.’ Similarly, Fineman’s works have a sense of both haste and permanence: bold, heavy marks seemingly being applied to the canvas with great speed–set down, perhaps, before the memory fades. In her representations of people, the artist renders faces and figures as if a memory of a memory, their solidity waning into the background and their eyes, noses and mouths–each once so defining a feature–are devolved into visual renditions of an uncertain recollection. In 1993, postmodernist philosopher Jacques Derrida devised the concept of ‘hauntology’–a term attempting to describe a state of being which cannot sit within our predefined temporal or ontological framework, represented by ‘the figure of the ghost as that which is neither present, nor absent, neither dead nor alive.’ Fineman’s paintings can be said to house a certain hauntological expression: paintings are memories of events, unmarred and unaffected by time, with no physical embodiment; the act of attempting to create a visual representation of time or a memory belies their very nature – and as such they are marked with loud gestural expressions in which the artist attempts to record and retrace time, through brush, gesture, and movement. The paintings therefore exist between spaces – never quite ‘one’ thing and never quite the other, as recordings of memories that we are invited to peer in upon, situated between time, space, and memory.

EMMA FINEMAN (b. 1991, Berkeley, California), lives and works in London, UK. In 2018 she graduated with distinction as an MA In Painting from Royal College of Art, London, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013. Solo exhibitions include: ‘May I Have Your Attention Please?’,BEERS London; London, UK (2019); ‘REALMS OF THE [UN]REAL’PUBLIC Gallery; London, UK (2019); ‘Fin_Bow’, Eleven Spitalfelds Gallery, London, UK (2017); ‘O.S 1’. The Great Highway Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2016); and ‘Solo Booth’. White Space, Art Palm Beach, FL (2014). Selected group exhibitions include ‘John Moores Painting Prize Exhibition’, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK (2018); ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’. South London Gallery, London, UK (2018); ‘SURGE’, East Wing Biennial 13, Somerset House, London, UK (2018); RBA Rising Stars’. Framers Gallery, London, UK (2018); and FBA Futures, Federation of British Artists; London, UK (2019). She has been included in publications such as Juxtapoz and ArtMaze.

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