Roman Road is very pleased to present Surrender, a solo exhibition by British artist Guy Haddon-Grant. Featuring a selection of his sculptures and drawings made from natural and industrial materials, such as charcoal, wood, plaster and steel, the exhibition opens a dialogue between the figurative and the abstract, the persona and the anima, paradoxical presences that at once underpin the artist’s practice. Through the display of monochromatic and sensuous forms, Surrender presents an overview of Haddon-Grant’s work from the past nine years, taking a look at his artistic journey and his transition from representational art to abstraction.
Before completing his studies at Camberwell College of Art, London, Haddon-Grant spent two years in Florence, Italy, immersed in academic training, mastering his command for drawing, painting and sculpting portraits from life. On his return, he began to search beyond the surface expression, delving further into the unconscious parts of the mind to reveal something other, something more of the anima and personal impression of the figure being described. As a result, his works gradually began to take a more abstract form, informed by the figuration but yielding to gestural and intuitive explorations, opening them up to new streams of meaning and interpretation.
The exhibition features numerous sculptures alongside Haddon-Grant’s Cloud Study (2017-2019), a large-scale charcoal drawing on canvas. While studying in Florence, the artist made cloud studies as a way to free his mind, projecting his observations into new structures and using the pigments of the materials to create a presence of form. He later started to re-examine these drawings for his new sculptures, liberating himself from the true representation by similarly reworking malleable materials to reinterpret the figuration. This can be seen in his Untitled (Erased Head no.3) (2015-2019), for which he applied and reapplied molten wax, evolving the portrayal from palpable to otherworldly, from enduring to evanescent. The abstract motifs of the pieces have since become increasingly dominant in Haddon-Grant’s works as he continues to explore and succumb to visceral means of expression.