We are pleased to announce that we shall be once again working alongside Anne Berthoud for our forthcoming painting show at the end of the year. It will be a joint show of works by Clive Hodsgon and Sherman Sam with a smaller show of new works by Gracjana Rejmer in the Lower Gallery.
“When the metaphysical, narrative, illustrative or symbolic elements (that are often seen as painting’s real function and territory) have ceased to be relevant, what remains, and what value does it have? I think that the remainder, after this subtraction, is substantial. It has deep roots in the tradition of decorative effects such as pattern, and colouring, which after all have some sort of psychological, physiological and intellectual consequences. There is still pleasure and there is still mystery.
I have to say, this is nothing new. Six years after I was born, Robert Ryman was attempting to make ‘realist’ (his word) paintings; that is to say, paintings that depended on what they really are in the world, rather than on being some sort of window onto another reality. He was relaxed about using his name as an element in the painting, more or less as a graphic element, alongside his emphasis on the choice of support, the shape of the support, the ‘ground’ used, the paint used and some ideas of gesture and colour. He saw these things as the real substance of the work.
Ryman’s ‘realism’ is quite austere, though beautiful, and despite admiring his work enormously, I find that I am more impatient, or restless, or ludicrous than him. Lacking his rigour, I find myself moving, metaphorically speaking, with mud on my boots, with mice in my beard, with more rubbish blowing round my mind.
To a certain extent some of this has to come into the work, because the alternative is a sort of excessive hygiene.”
Born in 1953 in Nottingham, Hodgson explored a variety of both abstract and figurative styles before settling on his thin application of oil technique. Hodgson pursued his art studies at both Slade School of Fine Art and St Martin’s School of Art, with his first exhibition taking place in 1978 at Brouse and Derby in London. Following this inaugural exhibition, Hodgson has been internationally exhibited in various galleries including Whitechapel, Terrace, and Gimpel Fils. Hodgson’s recent work explores the range and influence of the artist’s signature, and many of his pieces are now part of several local collections including the Arts Council of Great Britain, University College of London, and The Royal London Hospital. Hodgson currently lives and works in London.
“There’s an understandable tendency to see small paintings as intimate and vulnerable. Sam’s neither play to this tendency nor go out of their way to contradict it. Resolutely nonrepresentational, they certainly don’t promise any personal revelations, but there is an understated sense in the way the complicated little structures they present seem so jury-rigged. Each set of marks or gestures somehow simultaneously fits with and contradicts its situation, evoking a feeling of suspense: Will everything collapse? Or will the construct somehow sustain itself? Does thought thinking itself have any basis? Stuart Morgan, writing about Sam’s first exhibition back in 1996, saw “the tension between irony and honesty” as the work’s essence. Perhaps that’s still the case. Such a tension just might be enough to keep though moving forward before it collapses into the void.”
Barry Schwabsky, Artforum 2009
Sherman Sam is an artist and writer based in London and Singapore. He has exhibited his paintings and drawings internationally, including solo shows at The Suburban in Chicago, the Rubicon Gallery in Dublin, Lugar do Desenho in Porto and the Centro de Arte in San Joao de Madeira. His next one-person exhibition will be at Some Walls in Oakland, CA. His work has also been included in numerous group shows in Europe, including M6: Around London in Majorca, Sight Mapping (Sweden, Scotland, Spain), Plan D, an exhibition which he curated (Portugal, Ireland), and, most recently, Rhyme not Reason at the Janet Kurnatowski Gallery in Brooklyn and Paper: A-Z at the Sue Scott Gallery in Manhattan. He has contributed to www.kultureflash.com and the Brooklyn Rail and various British art magazines, and currently reviews for Artforum. From 2006-8 he was the Inspire curatorial fellow at the Hayward Gallery in London, and was the selector for the Pro Arts 2010 Juried Annual in Oakland, California.
“My paintings are based on a representation of my surroundings, depicting the nature of shapes, objects, colours and forms. However, my mission is not to illustrate nature or make a portrait of it – rather, by using abstract forms, I try to create a generalization; an impression of what I see.
The body of my work, and its tone, come from my reflections on the world but I also draw inspiration from trying to reach the depths of emotions, or my personal conclusions.
What is more, colour plays an important part in my paintings, as a hue, shape or even as a different language. I collect memories of the colours, objects, and shapes that I see and then translate it into my paintings. What attracts me a lot is the specific energy and brilliance in the colour. Most of my pieces are formed in a studio with natural light.
I attach great importance to the place and space in which I work. It has a great impact on what I do since I try to reflect the extended ‘moment’ of making a painting in the work itself. The time spent creating the piece is itself part of a process of development and exploration for me, which has a lasting impression on what I do next. In my last pieces I am concerned about my practice and diversity of my approaches to painting. I am trying to create atmospherics and memory of the images and try to keep them as everlasting moment.”
Gracjana Rejmer trained in her native Poland at the Academy of Fine Art in Warsaw and completed her MFA Painting Course at the Slade School of Fine Art. She has exhibited in the UK and in Poland and was short-listed for the Red Mansion Prize in 2010. Her work was featured in the ‘The Other Art Fair’ 2011 which showcased 100 of the best young unrepresented artists in the country.
Private View: Thursday 1st December 6-8pm
Friday 2nd December – 21st January 2012
Gallery opening hours: