Conceived specifically for the Art Nueve Gallery, From London is a project that presents the work of seven relevant artists (Milena Dragicevic nominated by Vitamin P2 for her contribution to the pictorial medium, is an example of this), trained in London in whose work it is clear that the painting medium, far from being conservative, is dynamic and prosperous. And it is that this, apparently, traditional format, continues to attract artists, who continually adapt it to contemporary ways.
Martin Herbert, prestigious writer and critic, whom we can read in publications such as Artforum, Frieze and Art Monthly, who has written the text for the catalog of this exhibition, describes several discursive lines in the frameworks of From London.
On the one hand, the artists approach the syntax of abstraction and figuration to propose the self as a totally untranslatable enigma, when Paul Housley or Damien Meade put, with the portrait, a focus on individual identity.
On the other hand, we can see these works as a point where abstraction and inferred narrative intertwine, with the almost involuntary help of the viewer. Milena Dragicevic, Phillip Allen or Lawrence Corby need this help, meditating on the dialogue between artist and spectator, to resolve works that consider portraits as a minimum repellency, to specify the space they have mapped in their paintings or to help codify meanings, respectively.
And even beyond that there is the problem of time, the question of what we could do with the past, or the existence of a kind of no-time or double temporality that characterizes a large part of the works. Damien Meade presents busts that never seem to be fully situated at the present time. Tim Storner’s dancers sit in a non-time that allows describing, at the same time, a past moment and another potentially present and Marianne Basualdo highlights how what is painted now is in conversation with something previous.
Recovery of the value of painting through contemporary lines, discourse on the relationship between abstraction and narrative, about the self, about time, From London is above all an exhibition that brings us closer to contemporary ways of working that are found as title Martin Herber “A thousand miles from home”, thus allowing us to establish a dialogue with the “other” which, as this exhibition shows us, is not such, but rather that geographical barriers are blurred in our globalized today, showing us common ways to work and to understand the world that is represented.