The exhibition features a new series of paintings in which Carr explores both formalistic and subjective aspects of process in order to develop a tableau of bizarre, self-referential narratives that evoke sentiments of yearning, expectation and self-hood.
The exhibition is a culmination of Carr’s developing practice in which he investigates painting’s enduring relationship with the figure. Through continual negotiation with form and context, the works are marked by their fragmentary nature and emphasis on gesture and expressivity. The artist tests the interstices between representation and abstraction, fluidly working to create imagery that is at once elusive and physically intimate. Often a result of continued reworking and alteration, the works develop a palimpsestic quality. Spectral forms peek through the surface, evincing layers of process and depth in which one can trace a history of the image.
Within these works, the depicted body features as a site for play and potentiation - a sphere of sensation in which gesture guides the image. Marks and lines bleed freely into one another, compounds of movement that render the figures therein as intimations of exchange. Despite their apparent slipperiness, these images remain anchored in the concrete of a representational language - as polysemous, indexical entities.
Each painting is encoded with symbolic motifs. Meaning is transferred through a process of interrogation that equates the physical act of painting with experiential aspects of the body, where images are carriers of mood and sensation. Symbolism is often contextualised within a framework of literary and art-historical narrative and in this respect, the works operate analogously within an anatomy of subjects, signs and language.
Carr’s paintings offer themselves to a wider interrogation of abstract painting - humorous and sincere - of its capacities and relevance as a tool, with which one can create and conceal, explore and exploit. In their evolution, the paintings tease and entice the viewer to interpret their deferred or inconspicuous narratives.
Felix Carr (b. 1993) is an artist living and working in London. He graduated with a BA Hons in Painting and Printmaking from Glasgow School of Art in 2016. Upon completion of his studies Carr was selected as one of the Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries and received the Stevenston Painting Prize; other awards include the Hope-Scott Trust Art in Healthcare Purchase Prize, Steven Cambell Hunt Medal for Poetic Creativity and the Glasgow School of Art Dissertation Prize. Carr was also chosen to undertake the Hospitalfield Graduate Residency Programme and has since exhibited at institutions including the Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh) and DRAF (London), as well as internationally for his recent solo exhibition in Lille.