"but not simpler"

29 Mar 2016 – 3 Apr 2016

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Espacio Gallery

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Bus: Number 8, 388 bus, Brick Lane stop, walk 1 minute to 159 Bethnal Green Road
  • Train: Liverpool Street
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Espacio Gallery are pleased to present “but not simpler”, a duo exhibition with works by Baher Shirzad and Nicholas Macneil. With different approaches to their practice, both painters are concerned with issues surrounding the relevance and future of painting.


The title: “but not simpler” is an ambiguous, mid-sentence extraction. It refers to the balance often strived for in painting: fabricating the simplest way of communicating an idea while maintaining enough complexity to successfully do so. It is an exhibition examining the fundamentals of painting and its destiny.

Nicholas Macneil examines the semi-familiar but ambiguous world beyond the paint itself, in both the boundaries of the image, and the digital print. In some works, he creates a conceptual uncertainty in an equivocal space; literally creating a jarring union between paint and collage print. The unframed and unusual shapes of some of his paintings indicate a removal from a larger context, which combined with the collage, contributes to a running theme of ‘a world beyond the painting’ itself. His digital paintings carry on themes from the paintings on board but in a more direct way. They occupy a world in which the image is not quite analogue, and not completely digital. They allow for a human fragility to show through as seen in painting, but also a machine filtering of that delicate human interference.

Nicholas Macneil studied BA Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon College of Art.

Baher Shirzad’s work is mainly concerned with his background and his roots in Afghanistan. He has been greatly influenced by London Central Mosque, its relationship to London and the surrounding community. Drawing is an essential part of Shirzad’s process, he starts with numerous sketches to enhance his knowledge of the surroundings and then paints these sites repetitively, until he is satisfied with the result. The impasto in the paintings derives from a constant rectifying of areas in the work after previous attempts, this provides room for building layers in the work and the physical depth of the image.  

Baher Shirzad studied BA Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon College of Art.

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Exhibiting artistsToggle

Nicholas Macneil

Baher Shirzad


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