Is there life on Trappist1? We still don’t know. For sure we do know that in Madgwick’s work life is absolutely present, even though we can’t see it.
Although, human beings seem to have suddenly disappeared as in the cult series “The Leftovers”.
Humans are an implicit subject but profoundly present.
After gaining great success exposing in Banksy’s Dismaland, along with other internationally acclaimed names such as Damien Hirst, British artist Lee Madgwick arrives at the White Noise Gallery for his first solo show in Italy.
The exhibition, named “Stand-By”, will go on until the 31st of May and it will be the second chapter of the Trilogy of Silence, curated by Eleonora Aloise and Carlo Maria Lolli Ghetti.
In Rome, Madgwick will present 9 large format paintings to give us his personal interpretation of Silence.
Isolated architectures buried in open spaces and lacking in spatial coordinates; only apparently abandoned buildings representing the ruins of the everyday life; colourful children toys submerged by the deep vegetation of a dark forest (“Within the realm”, 2017); the remains of “out of place” buildings (“Fragments”, 2017), are the icons of a private dimension built by the people, elevated as contemporary archetypes.
Above all, Madgwick’s paintings amount to stateless works, more significant than ever in this political moment, marked by the Brexit, conflicts of identity and revivals of nationalism.
In his closed worlds, within a saturated atmosphere, the buildings stand out against the ground, as if they were repelling magnets. Others are completely lost, hidden by a nature that regained its own power. The concrete appears defenceless and the nature unbreakable, and yet, among the decline we are able to perceive a tenacious vital tension.
Every work contains a story, suggests the existence of a before and an after, but time is stuck in a permanent present, silent and motionless, like a held breath or a sentence repeated in loop.
Thanks to this suspension, Madgwick re-educates us to the art of waiting, of perceiving time, of observing the consequences, in an eternal stand-by.
In his dystopian visions there is maybe more melancholy than horror, more lyricism than anguish. But the fear is always behind the corner. Because in the work of this visual poet that tells us about the remains in the style of Edward Hopper, we are always able to feel the influences of apocalyptical literary masterpieces like “I Am Legend” of Richard Matheson.
But maybe, from that single illuminated window present in Madgwick’s work “Safe House”, we will catch a glimpse of the silhouette of Norman Bates armed with his knife; or behind one of his many closed doors, it will suddenly appear Pennywise, the horrific clown protagonist of Stephen’s King “It”.