AboutThe first of three exhibitions curated by Lee Maelzer
Sophie Aston, Aly Helyer, Lee Maelzer, Yuko Nasu, Miho Sato, Claude Vergez, Jo Wilmot
Preview 18th February 2011, 6-9pm
Exhibition opens 19th February 13th March 2011, Friday Sunday 12-6pm.
Painters' Mate brings together seven female painters in an investigation of the male muse all in his guises: partner, lover, public figure, sex object, nemesis or combinations thereof. Awash with contradictions; jumbled images of past and present lovers mix with cool visions of distance and denial. Fantasies manifest with self-referential lusciousness or metaphorical detachment, while others are infused with humour and absurdity. Ultimately celebratory in tone, there are inescapable ambiguities explored in this exhibition. Sometimes explicit, sometimes spectacularly oblique, these artists express desire, tenderness, subjugation and fear.
Sophie Aston is exhibiting nine collages. She fuses recycled canvases with printed matter and with painting to produce a group of interrelated scenes. The scenes are episodes in the relationship between the artist and her lover. She sees the group as a poem, and like a poem, there is rhyme and refrain. The courting couple take the form of mouths, horses, heads and hands; they circle one another, mirror each other, dance and bare their teeth. They offer flowers and limbs and dare to leave behind the delicate pain of keeping life in potential.
The drawings and painting by Aly Helyer recall chance happenings and universal archetypes they seem to refer to deities and the primordial. Her working method uses a mixture of conscious and unconscious drawing techniques to give a feeling of half remembered lovers, precious nights and the grand tradition of artists' muses. The drawings are not of any relationship but of every relationship, with the beauty, comedy, sensuality and absurdity of romantic liaisons.
Lee Maelzer's paintings in this exhibition are oddly segmented representations of the youthful male form. They examine with almost obsessive scrutiny the subjects' veins, scars, moles, hairs and flesh. In an almost under-the-skin examination of male beauty they are an attempt to understand desire by the investigation of the minutiae of the object of it.
Yuko Nasu's works on paper are spare and tender depictions of the face and figure.
They combine sensuality with a remoteness that allows the model space and privacy despite the closeness of the situation. The rendering is smudged, washed or simplified to render mutable the identity of the subject. These stylized drawings and paintings have an elegance that belies their simplicity.
Miho Sato says about her practice Sometimes my life sinks into the world of images as if they are like the sky that you just accept as being there as a fact of nature. At other times I do not know what it is I see and then there is a sense of everything appearing as completely unnatural. Also sometimes my work appears light and humorous and sometimes as dark and heavy. I do not feel it is possible to control how we might be seen or indeed see. Painting is just a process of bringing such differences into the open."