The Pleasure Principle - New Works by Sarah Harvey4. Mar - 8. Apr 10 / ended James Freeman Gallery
Tue - Sat, 11.00 - 6.30 & by appoinment
THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE – New Works by Sarah Harvey
4 March 2010 - 8 April 2010
Sesame Gallery, London, N1
Bound, gagged, and thrown into the water – this is the daring, sexual world of Sarah Harvey’s forthcoming exhibition of underwater paintings, “The Pleasure Principle”, opening at the Sesame Gallery in Islington on 4 March 2010.
Sarah Harvey’s work focuses exclusively on underwater paintings. Working from images taken in pools and seas across the world, her works examine figures abstracted, mutated, refracted and reflected within lush liquid environments. They have an exotic quality that is both escapist and carnal at the same time, a tension between the desire to dissolve into the softness of the water, and the love of being a physical, sensual, sexual human being.
In “The Pleasure Principle”, she takes this approach to a new level, documenting the power relationship between herself and her fiancé through other-worldly images of each other beneath the water. He appears with his hands tied, his mouth sometimes gagged, struggling in the water against her all-powerful presence that dominates the other paintings, beautiful and terrible. In this, her paintings create an extraordinarily frank and telling autobiography of a young woman both on and off the canvas. Much like the artist, the paintings are more than just a pretty picture, revealing the personal development of a successful, attractive woman in 21st century Britain.
Sarah Harvey draws deeply on very British painting traditions, from School of London painters such as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Michael Andrews, through to contemporary figurative artists such as Jenny Saville, and with echoes of David Hockney’s pool paintings. Sarah builds on this tradition, and develops it into work that is very much of our moment – striking & ambitious, confident in its femininity, but also complex, self-reflective, a kind of introspective exhibitionism.
The Pleasure Principle is a solo exhibition by Sarah Harvey, and takes place from 4 March 2010 - 8 April 2010 at the Sesame Gallery, 354 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0PD
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