The project is a combination of three notions. Firstly, it is a curatorial response to the work of contemporary artists that gallery director Zavier Ellis has worked with, and has seen, throughout the years. Notably, there are many significant young painters who choose to paint with a restricted palette, or indeed only black, such as Florian Heinke and Luke Jackson. Others have investigated the black monochrome within their broader practice such as Ian Davenport and Zebedee Jones.
Secondly, the exhibition seeks to illustrate an inherent urge that many painters have: to master the black painting. On one hand it can be a liberation to eradicate choice, and on the other hand it is a test to limit the tools at one’s disposal. In combination, it is a seductive challenge to attempt to diffuse one’s intentions into a singular, albeit highly complex tone.
Finally, the exhibition will act as a response to fundamental moments throughout the history of art. From Goya to Malevich to Reinhardt and Rauschenberg, significant artists have continued to investigate the insistence and resonance of the black painting, and inevitably the artists in this exhibition will convey reference points, whether intentional or not, to that historical visual culture.
With Emma Bennett, Ian Davenport, Oana Farcas, Mathew Gibson, Konstantinos Giotis, Florian Heinke, Dimitri Horta, Luke Jackson, Sam Jackson, Zebedee Jones, Joe Machine, Hugh Mendes, Alex Gene Morrison, Gavin Nolan, John Stark, Gavin Turk, Tess Williams, Hendrik Zimmer
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