SOPHIE CHARALAMBOUS
From the Foreshore

Tuesday 3rd - Sunday 8th March 2015
83 Kinnerton Street, London SW1X 8ED
10am - 6pm (12pm - 6pm weekends)

Drinks Reception: Thursday 5th March 6 - 8pm
Artist Talk: Saturday 7th March 3pm 


For men may come and men may go
but I go on forever 


Jessica Carlisle is pleased to be presenting her first exhibition with London-based artist, Sophie Charalambous

Charalambous’s practice focuses on large-scale drawing, worked from observation and imagination. It is immediately recognisable by its use of scratchy lines, inky washes, and the heavily textured paper the artist works on, often roughly torn and glued together into monumental collages. These highly detailed works have a distinctly theatrical air, with characters often dramatically lit within compositions reminiscent of the Elizabethan stage or model theatres. But though Charalambous’s works are peopled, they are not so much about people as they are about place; smoggy city streets, the “jittery, jumbled, broken ground” along the banks of the Thames, and wintry windows looking out at - or into - other people’s lives.

In this exhibition Charalambous explores the foreshore, that liminal place between land and water, past and present. For, standing on the detritus of centuries, one cannot but contemplate what has passed before. The river is a melancholic and brooding presence haunting these images, and the artist carries us along in its tide, through the flotsam and jetsam, past townhouses overlooking the water’s edge, to meet with mudlarkers and mysterious watermen. This poetic journey, rich with allusion, shows us the river not as a place of leisure and enjoyment, but as a place of mystery and darkness. Thus the foreshore becomes a boundary, a strange hinterland, an edge-land.

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PAST EXHIBITIONS


AT HOME

A special exhibition in Jessica's home

Open House - Friday 5th to Sunday 7th December 2014
By Appointment until January

PREVIEW NIGHT
Thursday 4th December 6pm – midnight

CHRISTMAS DRINKS
Friday 5th December 6pm – midnight

Tim Betjeman, Katrina Blannin, Vera Boele-Keimer, Claudia Carr, Sophie Charalambous, Chris Daniels, Tom Davies, Michael Denton, Clara Drummond, Hester Finch, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Clare Haward, Mary Ann Janson, Olivia Krimpas, Katherine Lubar, Alexander Massouras, Kate McCrickard, Zanny Mellor, Tamsin Relly, Yukako Shibata, William Stein, Susan Wilson

Address: 53 Fitzjames Avenue, London W14 0RR (directions downloadable HERE)


PIERS SECUNDA
The Rise of Oil

Piers Secunda The Rise Of Oil

AN EXHIBITION OF MONO-PRINTS MADE WITH CRUDE OIL

Piers Secunda makes sculptures out of paint, often constructing complex forms by carving and casting the medium in ways one would not think possible. In the spring of 2009, in search of a material which would apply the geopolitics of the real world to an abstract painting practice, Piers hit upon the idea of painting and printing his sculptures with crude oil.

Crude oil plays a fundamental role in every aspect of 21st century living, from energy and transport to agriculture and medicine, and is the main component of the world’s most frequently used material – plastic. As the world’s ultimate facilitator, Piers believes that crude oil must therefore be a contender as the ultimate artist’s material. Its presence alone speaks immeasurable volumes but it is crude oil’s ability to function as a paint and printing medium that allow it to be employed as an artistic tool. This is the area on which this exhibition focuses.

The Rise of Oil showcases a complex body of works which utilise silkscreen printing with crude oil to depict images of the early days of the oil industry. Each “fragment” sheet of cast paint has been printed with crude oil from the fields and wells which the art work depicts. These range from Baku in Azerbaijan and Spindletop in Texas to scenes of California and Colorado. After finding a photograph of Saudi Arabia’s first successful oil well, Dammam Number 7, Piers searched for two years for oil from that specific well in order to silkscreen the photograph. Eventually, the oil was found, and the resulting crude oil print tells a story of a fleeting moment in time, little known to most people, which has had a seismic effect on global politics and economics ever since.

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CLAUDIA CARR

The butterfly counts not months but moments

16th - 21st September 2014

The room is full of fennels, portraits of fennels, depicted at various stages in their short life, standing vertically, one per canvas, each canvas the same 25 x 35 cm shape. The artist has lived intimately with these beings, from the time of their arrival in the studio, strong and firm in their clean white glory, to their last moments encased in shrivelled and desiccated brown skin. She has watched them as they live, reaching upwards for the sky and the sun, stretching, shooting forth sprays of green feathery leaves. And then she has sat with them as they slow, as they yellow, as they die. Watched too how in dying they produce new shoots, how these young fronds feed off the nutrient-rich decaying mother-half.

By choosing to work with a living object there is a diary-like quality to the series.  Carr is exploring the concept of change, not only the change in the growing/decaying object, but also the change in the light, the change in time, and the change in optical perception, just as Monet tracked the changing sunlight in his Rouen Cathedral paintings, and Sam Taylor Wood the passing of time in her video of rotting fruit.

No man steps in the same river twice for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man” - Heraclitus

This sense of impermanence and perpetual flux is also there in the actual process of making the paintings, how the paint comes together to create form and then slips back to paint. The effect is magnified through considering the group as a whole, how some bulbs sit fully formed, whilst others appear to evaporate into the air, dissolve into the canvas. 

As John Cage’s 4’33”celebrates the noise within “silence”; these paintings celebrate the movement within “stillness”. Indeed, they question the very notion of stillness, and reveal the nonsensicalness of the term “still” life.

Yet this fuzzy bulbous object, full of chromatic and spatial contradictions, is also a perfect vehicle through which Carr can explore her formal concerns; pitching a yellow and a grey until they mutually transform each other, or exploring the tensions thrown up by an unruly vertical form (the fennel) situated within a rigid vertical structure (the canvas). The object, like an oft-repeated word, becomes changed through repetition: stripped away from context, it becomes a purer more abstract version of itself.

As an artist known for her manipulation of scale (in other paintings she has created cavernous caves out of crumpled tissue and cinematic wildernesses from dusty table tops) it is not surprising that these diminutive vegetables should take on the monumentality of ancient oaks. As a glade in a forest, the gallery becomes a quiet space to contemplate these rich and complex works.

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MALENE HARTMANN RASMUSSEN
Nightfall
3rd - 8th June 2014

HARTMANN RASMUSSEN Hearts.jpg

Jessica Carlisle is delighted to announce Malene Hartmann Rasmussen's first exhibition at the gallery, an installation of ceramic sculptures exploring the theme of the enchanted forest. 

The wild land beyond the cultivated fields has captured our imagination for centuries. The forest as a place of enchantment is a recurring theme in European literature and myth, and can be traced back to primitive man’s awe and fear of nature which gave rise to ancient cults and pagan rituals. In classical mythology, the satyrs and fauns that dwell in the woods act as symbols of bestiality and abandon, whilst in Norse myth the dark Scandinavian forests of Mirk-wood and Iron-Wood are inhabited by elves, trolls, witches and giants, the same creatures that are to be found in 17th & 18th century fairy tales as lore and legend morph into fantasy and fiction. The forest continues to act as an important construct in contemporary culture; a sinister backdrop for countless horror movies and novels, it stands as a metaphor for the hidden realms of the unconscious mind.

Hartmann Rasmussen enters the woods at that most magical time of the day; twilight. It is at this bewitching hour, as daylight fades, that crepuscular creatures emerge from their dens and trees start to talk. This moment of transformation is embedded in Hartmann Rasmussen’s sculptures themselves, the once soft clay now hardened into fragile ceramic. Yet these strange creations feel like they might yet become animate. The owl perched on his shelf might at any moment fly away, the stocky rabbit might bound off, and the fronds of wooden hearts be seen to curl and grow. It is these boundaries between living and non-living, animal and human, plant and creature, fact and fiction, and how they have been interpreted and understood over time, that hold such a particular fascination for the artist, and her unique way of exploring and depicting them gives these surreal installations their distinctive uncanny air. 

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HESTER FINCH
Alone in Berlin
8th - 13th April 2014

FINCH The Atrocities - Foca, Bosnia.jpg

Alone In Berlin is Hester Finch's first exhibition with JESSICA CARLISLE and presents a new body of work that takes a poetic and poignant journey through the darker realms of the human experience.

Finch’s practice is an on-going investigation into the psychological potential of painting. The artist subverts traditional genres such as portraiture, landscape and still life in order to explore her central themes of loss, identity, death and judgement. The tension between tradition and rebellion, conformity and anarchy, is characteristic of the artist’s work.

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The Accused is a series of portraits in miniature format exploring the dehumanising effect of judgement. Based on police photographs of both suspects (of crimes) and victims (of miscarriages of justice), these are piercing and penetrating portrayals of people thrust into a limelight which they did not seek where they have to endure the glare and scrutiny of the public gaze. As we examine them, their identity seems simultaneously to slip away yet also to manifest. This struggle is accentuated by the artist who names each sitter whilst at the same time distorting their features. We do not know who they are or what they have – or might have – done, yet by witnessing their awkwardness, their shame and their fear, we feel somehow closer to them, and a basic human empathy arises.

The Atrocities may at first glance seem like peaceful landscapes, but on closer inspection the intensity of their saturated colour quickly becomes oppressive. As with all Finch’s landscapes, the atmosphere feels electric, the air charged. Are we looking at a mountainous landscape with gentle clouds and tranquil lakes, or are we looking at a desolate country ravaged by war? Are we admiring a view or are we looking out of a prison window? The diminutive scale jars uncomfortably with the gravity of the subject.

The Hospice series is a presentation of cloths, modelled from sheets, perhaps bed linen, that the artist has depicted in uncompromising fashion. These awkward, contorted cloths bear almost no relation to the free-flowing, sensuous drapery we are accustomed to finding in Renaissance and Baroque painting. Their solid, rigid presence is paradoxically suggestive of absence – we wonder what they might have covered, or what they might be concealing. They are a reminder of the ultimate loss; they are memento mori.


UNIQUE

VERA BOELE-KEIMER - OLIVIA KRIMPAS - WHITNEY McVEIGH

18th - 23rd February 2014

Woodblock Red/Pink (Detail), 2012, Vera Boele-Keimer

 

Intrinsic to the idea of a print is the act of repetition, and, through repetition, uniformity. But what happens when that process is disrupted? What happens when there is no repetition but only one act of printing, one impression? What happens when the image is hand-printed rather than run through a press, allowing human error to interrupt or interfere with a given structure or order?

This exhibition presents three artists who have manipulated or played with traditional processes to create printed works that are in fact unique. The particular methods which each artist has personally developed result in works that, though recognisable as part of wider body of work, nevertheless retain a basic individuality. In doing so, they ask us to reconsider the notion of uniqueness within printed work and explore the tension between the potential of the print to replicate and the innate individuality of the hand-made.

*****

Vera Boele-Keimer’s practice is an ongoing investigation of surface, texture, space and shape. Her thoughtful and reflective works reveal the richness within the humdrum, the humble; the overlooked and the undervalued. In her woodblock prints, the artist has used a set number of grids, codified with colours, to create countless patterns from simple rotations. The works celebrate the complexity and beauty that may arise from the simplest of actions and combinations.

Olivia Krimpas’s etchings are small yet intense works exploring movement, colour and light. By painting her prints individually with hand-mixed colours, the artist allows an image to grow and develop with the printing process. In the exhibition, two artist's proofs are displayed alongside one another allowing the viewer a rare insight into the subtle shifts that may arise within the same printed image and how minor modifications in colour or texture may alter the mood or atmosphere of a work.  

 
 

The human imprint, literal and metaphysical, is central to Whitney McVeigh’s practice. The artist’s intuitive ways of working include scratching, kneading, and rubbing into paper in a tactile and intimate process that creates works imbued with time, memory and the artist’s own physicality. Her monotypes are manifestations of printing or pressing actions, of lines drawn onto or into inked surfaces, and her half-figurative half-abstract work, most notably her monumental “heads”, speak down the ages to a universal self and collective human spirit. 

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