London Art Fair

21 – 25 January 2015
London, UK
Booth 5 – Village Green
Exhibiting Artists: DALE ADCOCK, GL BRIERLEY, ANDREW BRISCHLER, JONNY GREEN, PABLO GRISS, ANDRE HEMER, JAYANTA ROY, ANDREW SALGADO & EVREN SUGUR.

We are thrilled to be exhibiting for the fourth consecutive year at the London Art Fair in the Green Mile (Booth 5 in the ‘Village Green’). Exhibiting artists will include a selection of painters who were included in the recently released ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’ authored by Kurt Beers and published by Thames & Hudson.

For more information on the fair please visit their site HERE.

DALE ADCOCK

As a nine year old, British born Dale Adcock (b. 1980) was given a ‘gold star’ for a painting of Tutankhamen’s death mask in school; it was this precise moment that led to his decision to become an artist. Massive in scale, with inverted images, a flattened surface, and an attention to detail that would astound most; Adcock’s paintings are themselves oddly subversive versions of the monumental trompe l’oeil relics they depict. Tomb, for instance, entails a repeated engraving motif (executed entirely in paint) that is historically based in death ritual but ultimately the artist’s own recreation. Stack of Heads is precisely that: six geometric, humanoid blocks, stacked in an inverted pyramid with a perspectival distortion that, while unnoticeable to the naked eye, creates a marked sense of the uncanny, or even unease. Sourced from the artist’s sketches, these imagined relics are based in historical antiquity, with trademark subject matter including inverted sphinxes, skew-eyed tribal masks, or origami-like portraits. The artist insists that his creations are meant to be neither idiosyncratic nor ironic. Certainly, they are the product of an obsessive attention to his practice: a 2005 graduate from London’s Chelsea College of Art & Design, the artist works from a canal-side East London studio where he takes three to six months to complete each painting. What is perhaps most interesting is Adcock’s relationship to paint. With so many of his peers celebrating the fluidity and materiality of their chosen media, Adcock chooses to subvert this tendency, hiding the nature of his brushwork and working with such precision that his mark-making is nearly indecipherable.

GL BRIERLEY

Through an alchemic approach to painting, the works of British artist GL Brierley (b. 1962) seem to transcend logical classification. Her technique is rooted in exploration, where the end result is achieved through accident and chance. In one instance, we see what appears to be a depiction of coral reef, where the skins of pools of paint wrinkle and crease to create porous looking marine flora. The background ebbs and flows in and out of focus, taking on the appearance of a murky, sepia toned landscape, submerged and obscured. In another piece, an oddly humanoid figure looms before a trompe l’oeil background of a mint and white alternating zigzag motif. At one moment a grotesque clown face seems to appear, but in another the subject gives way to the sheer textural quality of the paint, where a mass of pink paint recalls melting ice cream. The entire painting is decorated with vibrant blue highlights placed carefully, as though icing through a pâtissier’s piping bag. It is precisely through the sheer sense of the uncanny, intimate, delectable, abject, and grotesque that Brierley’s works so elegantly combines. The paintings become at once entirely about their texture, their technique, and the application of paint, but one cannot move past these heaving masses: plant-like, organic, playful, horrific, looking like painterly representations of volcanic rock, chiffon, flora and fauna, or even human eyeballs, lips, and limbs. Peaking through their subtleties are the abject beauty, the materiality of flesh transcribed through the medium of oil paint, the limitless possibilities inherent in her chosen medium.

ANDREW BRISCHLER

 “I’ve never thought of painting in relation to or in opposition to our digital age,” claims Brooklyn artist Andrew Brischler (b. 1987). “Painting, the primal urge to record an idea visually, is an inescapably universal phenomenon.” Brischler pinpoints the moment of interest as something more contextual, operating beyond a penchant for hard-edged geometry, angular ‘doodles’, or brightly colored gradients. However, despite loud, assertive tendencies, he finds himself most interested in the moment when an expertly crafted painting begins to fall apart. These moments of revelation for Brischler are abundant, canonical and inevitable: “You see it in the puckered corners of Warhol’s massive diamond dust paintings; in the black stains of Al Held’s colour fields; and in the tremulous lines of Frank Stella’s early shaped works. Tiny failures that make even the most monumental and heroic paintings seem flimsy, vulnerable, even sad.” As such, Brischler’s works have less to do with pure geometric abstraction and have more to do with locating ones’ place in time and space. “I am unavoidably, shamelessly, a ‘millenial’ ” he states, but Brischler’s paintings both embrace and depart from notions of superficiality in order to speak to his own feelings of self-consciousness and mortality, a process that weaves his own anxiety into otherwise bold and paintings that seem a conceptual hybrid between the techniques of Op Art and the suggestion of the memento mori. At one point, it is possible to imagine these pieces as time capsules from the Pop Art Movement, their frayed corners and sandy backgrounds almost serving as a nostalgic reminder of some long forgotten, much cherished Golden Age.

JONNY GREEN

JONNY GREEN (b. 1966, North Yorkshire) graduated from the Royal College of Art with a Masters degree in Fine Art (painting). In the years immediately following art school the artist exhibited extensively both in England and the US, including representing England for the F.I.A.R. Art Prize, an international touring exhibition of the most promising young painters from several different countries. After a break from painting of nearly ten years (during which time he wrote, recorded and released 5 major label albums, toured the world as a musician, wrote 2 short movie soundtracks ((produced by Spike Jonze)) and had his songs used for numerous TV ads), Jonny returned to painting. Recent exhibition highlights have included a museum show ‘Beastly Hall’ at Hall Place in Kent alongside Carsten Höller and Damien Hirst as well as the Nanjing International Art Show in China.

PABLO GRISS

Through an amalgam of styles, and an approach toward abstraction that incorporates diverse media and styles, Pablo Griss (b. 1971) constructs an atmosphere of poetic interpretation through spatial juxtaposition. “I am obsessed with space,” the Venezuelan painter states, “a need to create atmospheres.” Embracing a style that incorporates both accomplished, geometric draftsmanship that sits alongside a loose and unconventional painterly approach, Griss’ strongly expressionist work weaves back and forth between angular lines and expressionistic, stream of consciousness mark-making. Through such stylistic freedom and a devotion to a layered, palimpsest-like approach, Griss lends a sense of visual depth to the works but also emphasizes the intangible, surreal nature of the backgrounds, both inviting the viewer into their environments while simultaneously reminding of their pure intangibility. At times, Griss’ approach is entirely reliant on geometric abstractions, other times, as though in a fit of expression, these same paintings embody wild organic movement. Undoubtedly, his strongest form of expression occurs when these regimented shapes begin to collapse upon themselves, suggesting so much more than mere patterning or abstraction. By exploring the materiality within his own practice, including collage, mixed media, and gold leaf, Griss seems eager to establish, and then deconstruct, his own sense of order both inside and outside the studio space.

ANDRE HEMER

New Zealand born, Sydney-based painter Andre Hemer (b. 1981) is quick to list the sources that inform his paintings, with titles like Swag, Smushing, and Nicki Minaj or Diamonds and Swimming Pools. They seem imminently topical, oozing from a zeitgeist of graffiti, Photoshop, and even a sense of Aussie surfboard cool. “Painting in its simplest form captures the aesthetic collateral from a moment in time,” he states. “It’s a democratic form of expression because it simply requires looking. ” And Hemer’s work is aware of its contemporary context; he doesn’t try to hide their superficiality, their prioritization of surface, shine, and optical stimuli, creating a connection between videogame, computer screen, and studio floor: “Colour gradations, vector scrawls, spray tools, tessellated screensavers, painted gestures, and digital glitches are layered, composed, entangled, and erased, embracing the possibility, beauty, and failure of the slippage between digital and object-hood.” Visually, the paintings are reduced; despite their neon colour schemes and frontal compositions, they revert back to a confidence in communication through a series of familiar visual cues. “I am a child of the Nintendo generation. I have grown up in a generation that had its way of interfacing with the visual world completely altered by the screen and virtualization. Images are flat, back-lit, and fast moving.” Yet the paintings maintain a critical distance, appearing detached from this way of looking, without becoming too senselessly graphic. “When else in history could a painting be informed simultaneously by both Cy Twombly and the Apple homepage?”.

JAYANTA ROY

Using elements of text, design, and references to capitalist society, the paintings of Jayanta Roy (b. 1973) form a simultaneous critique and ode to contemporary culture. Roy is captivated by the power of advertising and the nature of communication in contemporary art and society. He employs both irony and wit in an attempt to deconstruct the familiar second-hand images that make up the basis of the commercial image culture. The use of painting serves this purpose ideally because of its status as a medium that is completely fictionalized, translated through the subjectivity and experiences of the artist by whom they are performed. In Roy’s estimation, a painted representation is always a metaphor for reality, whereby painting becomes “more an intellectual practice than instinctive one, where texts and puns have vital roles… so that the object-hood of the canvas comes alive”. In terms of expressing notions of consumerism and identity, this view of the medium as metaphor and object unto itself is especially effective, where the artist deconstructs the Romantic myth of artist as genius in favour of a more modern perspective where artist is conduit, facilitator of communicative tools.

ANDREW SALGADO

Andrew Salgado’s paintings have evolved greatly in style since first rising to prominence over half a decade ago with his (then) signature large-scale, painterly portraits, where large swathes of colour played across the surface to define his subjects. In his most recent work – the representational has given way to the more abstract: and now such colourful, symbolic, and compositional elements are the driving force of the painted image. While the figures remain a common thread – today Salgado’s subjects are depicted in a fantastical, often ominous tableaux. There are abundant references to the tradition of figurative painting both historic and contemporary: Matisse, Gauguin, and Bacon are all readily recalled; while contemporary greats like Tal R, Daniel Richter, and Peter Doig are also referenced with equal reverie and respect – often like quiet in-jokes for a viewer to catch. The artist’s long-standing tendency to paint clowns and the absurd remain constant (in 2016’s The Fool Makes a Joke at Midnight, the artist had actual circus performers in the exhibition space during the exhibition’s duration), and again one sees faces are painted in bright orange, with purple noses and vibrantly coloured hair. Where there once was a plain background, which placed the figure at the forefront of the image, now there is a kind of harmonious cacophony, a medley of pop-coloured squiggles, harlequin patterns, and wonky block shapes–all of which may seem hastily scribbled if it weren’t for the fact that they slot into one another like an impossibly orchestrated puzzle.

Salgado’s more recent works have made a noted effort to distance himself from a 2008 assault (in which he was attacked for being a gay man), and are decidedly certainly more irreverent than his previous offerings: brighter, more celebratory, even theatrical. The artist carries this sense of play into his exhibitions, too. For ‘The Snake’ (BEERS London, 2016), hundreds of butterflies were released to flutter amongst the audience as if they had burst from the artworks themselves; ‘A Room with a View of the Ocean’ (Lauba House, 2017) saw an 8-metre ocean projection (and artificial ‘beach’) on the final room’s wall, inviting the audience to partake in a meditation of what they had seen; and the two-day-only exhibition ‘Nature Boy’ (BEERS London, 2018) saw a pianist (at a baby-grand!) playing the eponymous song on repeat for the entirety of the show’s duration. For Salgado, similar to his increasing use of collaged elements, an exhibition is an opportunity to extend elements of the painting beyond the canvas–an invitation into his world of colour, fantasy, and fun.

ANDREW SALGADO (b. 1982, Regina, Canada) lives and works in London, England. He graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2009, and has since had 13 sold-out solo exhibitions held all over the world, and is widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading young figurative painters. In 2017, Salgado was the youngest artist to ever receive a survey-exhibition at The Canadian High Commission in London, accompanied by a 300-page monograph, both of which were entitled TEN. Previous solo exhibitions include, ‘Blue Rainbow’ Angell Gallery, Toronto, (October 2018); ‘Nature Boy’, Beers London, (2018); ‘Dirty Linen’, Christopher Moller Gallery, Cape Town (2018), ‘A Room with a View of the Ocean’, Lauba Art House, Zagreb (2017); ‘The Snake’, Beers London, (2016); ‘The Fool Makes a Joke at Midnight’, Thierry Goldberg, New York (2016). He has exhibited his work at various international art fairs, including Zona Maco, Mexico City (2019); Pulse Miami (2016); and Volta Basel (2015). In 2015, Salgado curated The Fantasy of Representation, including work by Francis Bacon, Gary Hume, and Hurvin Anderson, with an impassioned manifesto on representational painting. In 2014 he was the subject of a documentary, Storytelling. He has received extensive press both online and in print, including GQ, The Evening Standard, The Independent, Artsy, METRO, Attitude Magazine, Globe and Mail (CAN) and Macleans (CAN). He frequently donates to charities including Pride London, Stonewall, and Diversity Role Models; his donations to the Terrence Higgins Trust are of particular note, having have raised over £75,000 in 5 years. In March 2019, he successfully entered the secondary market with a piece in a Strauss & Co auction in South Africa. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include a booth over Basel Miami (TBA, December 2019); and a fourth solo at BEERS London (October 2020). His works have been collected extensively in private and public collections worldwide.

EVGREN SUNGUR

Working from his native Turkey, artist Evgren Sungur (b. 1980) approaches paintings from a point of view that celebrates austerity and severity. In his work, aggressive color schemes predominate canvases often measuring 200cm or greater, and angular, unsympathetic figures create a jarring sensory overload. Rigidly poised figures first shock the viewer with their often graphically sexual positions. He calls this the “aesthetics of his generation, a sensory overload that shocks initially, followed by an irresistible compulsion to return to the depicted scene. The paintings are based conceptually in human nature and male/female relationships, but articulated through a palette and appearance mostly reminiscent of Chinese propaganda art of the early 20 th century. Sungur refers to his work as being reflective of humanity’s most honest state. His vivid scenarios force the viewer into a state of self-realization, albeit an uncomfortable one. Sungur himself believes the painting is a therapeutic act, and considers each work to be beseeching him to discover something new about himself, his process, or his surroundings. “Anything that gives me a hint of our social/personal behavior inspires me. The duality of a person’s instincts and mind takes all my interest, and painting
itself is a form of self-exploration.”

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