London Lantern

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Group: Focus I at FORSTER

02/06/2008, By

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FORSTER is presenting Group: Focus I, the first part of the summer exhibition programme. On show are new works by James Roper, Andrew McAttee, Xenz and Zebedee Helm. The upstairs gallery will showcase a collection of new paintings by Henrick Simonsen. Group: Focus I will also introduce two new artists, Carrie Reichardt and Matthew McGuinness.

Henrik Simonsen: “When asked what I do I will tell people that I paint but I think that I should say that I draw. The main element in my work is drawing. The attraction to drawing stems from the directness of the mark making process and the simple, yet magical way lines on a surface creates shapes and forms. I do all my drawing freehand even if I repeat an element, as I feel that projectors or stencils take the life and strength out of the line.”

Simonsen’s work has had nature as a central theme for years. He is drawn to the subject matter is its inexhaustible richness and metaphorical ability to speak of human existence. Of life, passion and the brevity of existence. The influence for this body has also been the 18th century. Or more specifically the period from between 1730 and 1765 now referred to as the Rococo. Rococo looked to nature for inspiration. It celebrated the sinuous, the organic and the sensuous. It embraces the bizarre and the beauty of natural phenomena.

“What is very import to me when I work is the history of the piece. This is why I rarely attempt to erase anything completely on a canvas. I prefer to keep the drawing that I later abandoned, changed or worked over as a part of the finished piece. I feel this gives the painting a feel of having occupied a period in time because the layers allows the history of creation to be visible rather then reducing the piece to just an impenetrable surface.”

Carrie Reichardt: there is no subtle narrative or hidden stories in the works of Carrie Reichardt but a bold and enduring message formed with the language of collage. Reichardt takes a time- honoured symbol of resistance – the spray can, as the form upon which she passionately delivers her mission; an un-requiting desire to question her audiences fundamental beliefs in the violence of contemporary society. The spray cans, created in a precious ceramic form, unable to deliver their usual torrent of text, act as a pages in Reichardt’s book of modern day propaganda. She collects, cuts and meticulously layers images from an obsessive collection of vintage, modern day and homemade decals. By doctoring an eclectic range of imagery and juxtaposing simple words and sayings, she invites the viewer to re-question their beliefs and social reality. Carry Reichardt studied Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Matthew McGuinness: he describes his work as presenting an alternative and sustainable vision of community in an urban culture. The artist employs mass produced images which are dissected and married together in weird yet wonderful scenarios. Layered characters confront and contort the viewer, engaging in an almost slapstick display of decapitated polar bears, cranes protruding out of mountains and a roman solder on horseback blinded by what can only appears as a colour chart come visor. These intricatly constructed collage landscapes McGuinness describes as auto biographical works and make up one element of the artists varied portfolio. McGuinness is currently exhibing with Rare Gallery in New York.

11th July to 2nd August
1 Chapel Place
Rivington Street
London EC2A 3DQ
+44 (0)20 7739 7572
Wednesday to Friday: 12 pm to 6 pm
Saturday: 12 pm to 5.30 pm
or by appointment

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