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The Perfomativity of Painting: 16 January - 16 February 2018

A choreographed meeting.

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16 January – 16 February 2018, The Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich Galleries. 

Artists: Tobias Buckel, Liz Elton, David Lock, J.A. Nicholls, Selma Parlour, James Pimperton, Rebecca Molloy, Alex Roberts

Painting – the performance of structures, fragments and use of space within the perceived painted frame, and the relating inherent surround.

In bringing together these artists, through their distinct individual accounts and methodologies, the exhibition, The Performativity of Painting offers the opportunity to consider site-specificity, theatrical tropes, depicted surfaces, staging and the interconnectedness of the artwork’s context (in the works’ content and proximity). In this sense, the exhibition will seek to address painting's embodiment of the performative space.  Curator: Alex Roberts

To access the full press release please download here

Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday: 11am-5pm, Saturday: 11am-4pm

Private view: Friday 19 January 2018, 6-8pm  

Artists’ Talk: Saturday 10 February 2018, 1.30-4pm.  To reserve a place please register here

Contact: Gallery Curator, David Waterworth ugg@gre.ac.uk  www.greenwichunigalleries.co.uk

STEPHEN LAWRENCE GALLERY, University of Greenwich, 10 Stockwell Street, London, SE10 9BD, Tel: 020 8331 9954

We would like to thank Dr. Ken Wilder for his insightful text, written specifically to accompany the exhibition.  To download a copy of the E-Catalogue please click here

Dr. Ken Wilder is an artist and writer. Having practiced and taught architecture, he now makes site responsive installations and films. Based at Chelsea College of Arts, he is the University of the Arts Reader in Spatial Design. He has published widely on issues of reception aesthetics, including Bloomsbury’s 2016 anthology Painting: Critical and Primary Sources.

FAD Magazine recommends & reviews... Control to Collapse

"The Top 7 Art Exhibitions to see in London over Christmas & New Year’s. Read more...

I have visited 5,000 painting-based shows this century. Yet there are approaches in the gesturally-themed group show ‘Control to Collapse’ which I can’t recall seeing in any of them.. “ Paul Carey-Kent.  Read more...

Control to Collapse, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College London 2017.  Image credit: Liz Elton

Control to Collapse, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College London 2017.  Image credit: Liz Elton

Control to Collapse, Blyth Gallery: 22 November 2017 - 3 January 2018

Contacts: Rebecca Byrne: rbyrneblack@gmail.com, Liz Elton: lizlelton@gmail.com

Contacts: Rebecca Byrne: rbyrneblack@gmail.com, Liz Elton: lizlelton@gmail.com

“Paint records the most delicate gesture and the most tense… Paint is a cast made of the painter‟s movements, a portrait of the painter‟s body and thoughts.” James Elkin, What Painting Is, 1955 

The 'gesture' is defined as a movement, usually conveyed by the hand or head, that expresses an idea or meaning. When accompanied with speech, it can articulate, emphasise, create humour or angst. In painting, the gesture has a loaded history. Most commonly associated with the abstract expressionists like Willem De Kooning, Lee Krasner or Joan Mitchell, it held alchemical accord, with the ability to imbue painting with the emotional charges of joy, anger or melancholy directly from the artist’s hand. Now emptied of those grand accreditations, the gesture takes on a more functional role. In an age of image proliferation, the gesture is a unique device or mode of language that is crucial in relaying a painter’s conceptual concerns. 

The artists in Control to Collapse feel, interpret and respond to the viscosity of pigment and the absorbency of surface to find painterly gestures that take an active role in conveying meaning. Through this tactile connection with their materials, these artists draw on bodily intellect and let muscular memory guide the application of paint. They are acutely conscious of the gestural act as a device for communication and find movements and motions that allow ideas to be soaked into the surface of their work. 

This exhibition navigates a variety of gestural acts, from an intricate slicing that causes oils to take on the healing qualities of flesh; to broad swathes of paint that engulf the gallery and interrogate the psychological qualities of the spaces we in-habit; or rapid washes of thinned oils that create aqueous scenes of transparent and luscious landscapes of vegetation to address politically charged themes of excessive water consumption. It explores the gesture’s role in communicating the wider concepts explored in the featured artists’ respective practices. 

Niamh White

Control to Collapse is curated by Rebecca Byrne and Liz Elton, the title aiming to encapsulate the range of gestures these nine artists employ, from the tightly controlled to a point where the gesture is undermined and almost allowed to disappear. Under the name ‘PaintUnion’, Rebecca and Liz have collaborated on a number of talks about painting and other projects, including ‘Pool’ at Griffin Gallery and PIY PaintLounge at Sluice Biennial (with Wendy Saunders and Paula McArthur of paintbritain). They are very grateful to Niamh White, co-founder of Hospital Rooms and founder of the Den-tons Art Prize for writing Control to Collapse’s introductory text. 

Download the full press release here