Tag: Newport Street Gallery

True Colours – Helen Beard / Sadie Laska / Boo Saville at Newport Street Gallery until 9 September 2018

Bringing together three emerging artists – Helen Beard (b.1971, Birmingham), Sadie Laska (b.1974, West Virginia) and Boo Saville (b.1980, Norwich) – that, despite using paint in very different ways, all share an interest in exploring the possibilities of colour. Featuring over fifty works, the show is the largest exhibition to date for each artist.

Helen Beard uses a vivid rainbow palette to create interlocking arrangements of bright primary colour, which combine to describe explicit sexual encounters. Working from found images, Beard’s work explores themes relating to gender, sexual psychology and eroticism. Situated part way between abstraction and representation, her figures are reduced to concisely defined fields of vibrant colour, on which a myriad of varied brush marks remain visible. Including a number of new works, one of which is a monumental diptych (The Mirror, 2018), each canvas measuring 3226 x 2743mm, the exhibition spans eight years of Beard’s practice.

New York-based artist Sadie Laska creates dreamlike compositions using paint and collage. Evoking the rebellious post-Pop aesthetic of New York, Laska often incorporates recycled waste materials and found objects into her paintings, sometimes reworking parts of earlier canvases entirely. In Untitled (Pepsi Shape), 2017, the canvas is carved up into contrasting areas, which are roughly painted with acrylic. The resulting amorphous shape evokes the distinctive colours of a can of Pepsi. A member of the underground drum-based band I.U.D., Laska’s paintings are filled with a similar improvised expressiveness and irreverent spirit of performance as her music.

The exhibition features a new series of Boo Saville’s colour field paintings, which are shown in dialogue with a number of black and white canvases. Known formerly for her figurative works in oil on canvas, as well as using everyday materials including biro and bleach, Saville has – since 2014 – been producing large-scale abstracts, made up of flawlessly gradating shades. Saville, whose work investigates mortality, applies up to forty layers of paint to achieve this extraordinary effect, erasing any suggestion of her own mark-making in spite of the emotional tenor of the works. The colour fields are inextricably linked to her black and white canvases, the subjects of the latter – sparingly painted so as to retain the appearance of the canvas weave – resulting from internet searches that occur to her whilst working on the abstracts. She notes: “The black and white paintings are purely about the surface of momentary thought and the colour fields are about the depth and vault of emotion and memory layered on top of each other.

www.newportstreetgallery.com/exhibition/true-colours-helen-beard-sadie-laska-boo-saville

Location:
Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, London SE11 6AJ

Times:
Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 6pm

Price:
Free entry

Dan Colen: Sweet Liberty at Newport Street Gallery until 21 January 2017

Colen’s first major London solo show spans over fifteen years and features new works, including large-scale installations.

Colen emerged onto the New York art scene in the early 2000s alongside artists such as Dash Snow and Ryan McGinley. Brilliantly witty, shocking, poignant and nihilistic, his art presents a portrait of contemporary America and is, in part, an investigation into the act of producing and looking at art.

Alongside significant early works such as Me, Jesus and the Children (2001–2003) – a photorealist painting of the artist’s chest, overlaid with cartoon cherubs and floating speech bubbles – the exhibition features paintings from Colen’s long-running ‘Gum’ and ‘Trash’ series. In the ‘Gum’ paintings, spots of brightly coloured chewing gum – usually only seen in the mouths of others or stuck to the soles of shoes – are layered onto the canvas as paint. The ‘Trash’ works incorporate rubbish and discarded ephemera, the kind you would often encounter piled up in the street. Referencing Arte Povera, Abstract Expressionism and action painting, the trash is mixed with paint and used as an unwieldy brush to form shapes based on Raphael’s exalted Madonna and Child paintings. With their irreverent borrowing from art history and disruptive combination of abstraction and figuration, they are paintings about painting, paintings about belief.

The exhibition features four installations, in which Colen continues to appropriate and subvert imagery from the globalised mass media and American subcultures. In these installations, Colen’s examinations of masculinity and individuality are brought to the fore. The bloated, spent machismo of the American Dream is laid bare to reveal a deep-seated existential unease.

www.newportstreetgallery.com/exhibition/dan-colen-sweet-liberty

Doors:
Tue - Sun 10am - 6pm

Location:
Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, London SE11 6AJ

Price:
Free entry

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