October 17, 2013
November 01, 2013
Surfacing: Work by emerging artists from the UK and Italy
Curated by Liane Lang & Becca Pelly-Fry
Private view: Thursday 17 October, 6.30 – 8.30pm (all welcome)
Exhibition open: 17 October – 1 November
Marisa J Futernick
Oscar Isaias Contreras Rojas
This new exhibition at the Griffin Gallery brings together art students and recent graduates from Italy and the UK.
The Italian artists have each won a prize in 2012, awarded in one of three categories by the Italian AOP Academy, supported by Winsor & Newton, Liquitex and Conté à Paris. The artists from the UK are students or recent graduates from the Royal Academy Schools in London, selected from their proposals. By bringing together artists from two different countries and contexts, the Griffin Gallery aims to foster dialogue and discussion, expand artists’ networks and provide exposure for a group of exceptionally talented emerging artists.
The themes and media from this small snapshot of current artistic practice are varied, but the conceptual and formal concerns converge on a preoccupation with material surfaces, with the structures and devices of presentation and an engagement with abstraction. The works are exquisitely produced and constructed, tone and texture is a selection device, which often overrules the origins or narrative dimension of an object or form. This accomplished and self- analytical approach results in works which are contained, engaged in a suggestive interior monologue.
Though each is very distinct, the six artists’ practices are firmly situated in post-internet art making without necessarily referring directly to electronic space or source material. Visual material is almost exclusively culled and often heavily processed. This sourcing of the existing image, external and generic, removes biographical or narrative threads in favour of visual clues and automatic gestures of image selection. At the same time, the works are largely rooted in traditional technique, painting and sculpture, print making and textiles. This aspect of craft provides a space with recently acquired counter-cultural potential. In close engagement with the works in Surfacing, lured in by the examination of the artist’s hand and decision making, the viewer may discover a different kind of narrative emerge, a glimpsed action, a remembered structure. The generic and impersonal, the superficial and distant is here transformed into a space of mesmerizing recognition.