Italian Matteo Massagrande's world is one of mysterious vistas and abandoned interiors, filled with light and atmosphere. The paintings are like stage sets, carefully organized to achieve dramatic tension. His masterful handling of his medium articulates a romantic sense of yearning for things lost, cryptic and just out of reach.
Scottish figurative artist Iain Faulkner's paintings are essentially self-portraits, where, unusually, the subject is fugitive and mysterious. He remains concealed in plain sight, his back to us or turned away, an archetypal male figure, thoughtful and absorbed. Faulkner's skillful demonstration of technical ability makes for a compelling expression of this enigmatic milieu.
American J Louis paints cropped and fragmentary images of women, which are integrated into a formal schema of veils, skins and blocks of subtle color. His subjects exist in an abstract world, apart from a specific, pictorial context. There is a constant interplay between the rendering of realistic form and the dynamic, graphic structure of the composition.
Chris Rivers is a British painter of sumptuously-colored, turbulent skyscapes. The expressively handled paint describes seething clouds, mists and vapors. On closer inspection, tiny figures can be seen caught up in the maelstrom. Our perception of the paintings oscillates between witnessing the sublime vastness of nature and small-scale incidents of human activity.
Born in Beirut, Henry Jabbour lives and works in Cambridge, England. His elusive and sketchily-realised figures are glimpsed as if through a haze of sunlight. We shade our eyes to examine them. They live in a world of paint which both realises and obscures. There is something forensic and archaeological about these sumptuous, fragmentary paintings. The artist has made a site from which he retrieves and uncovers. Traces remain of his excavations.
British artist Christopher Thompson presents portraits of young and attractive subjects, painted in his trademark 'chiaroscuro' style. Anonymous, but distinctive, they are self-contained, avoiding, or unaware of, the viewers' gaze. Isolated, these figures are caught between acts. They pause and contemplate, waiting for action, cautiously weighing up their options. Essentially romantic, the paintings make reference to historical notions of male agency, but locate them in the contemporary everyday.