Paul Gopal-Chowdhury's paintings made their first appearance at Art Space Gallery in 2002 in his exhibition titled Paintings of Heaven and Hell. Portraying the Spitalfields area of London where he lives, they were the synthesis of a ten year long process of experimentation and consolidation that fused imagery from Indian mythological paintings and east London street scenes.
What is new and unusual about the paintings in this exhibition is the all encompassing cosmic view of the world through which London has been seen and transformed.
The ingredients are: life and the passage of time. This is equated with the temporal nature of painting. Aspects of mortality are painted with the same clarity and intensity as London streets. A passage of souls moving from one life to the next might emerge as tufts of grass or insects. And Guardians stand watchful at the entrances to these journeys. But as well as the apocalyptical nature of this vision there is also humour and wit.
These paintings are un-paralleled in contemporary art, the nearest comparison would be with images from the Middle Ages. But the way these are painted could only happen now.
Paul Gopal-Chowdhury was born in 1949 in India and brought up in England where he studied at Camberwell School of Art (1967-68) and the Slade School of Fine Art (1969-73). His work has been exhibited widely in England and abroad. He was awarded The Gregory Fellowship (1975-77); Artist in residence, Cambridge, at Gonville and Caius College and Kettle's Yard (1983-84) and The Lorne Award 1995.
Paintings from the exhibition can be viewed on-line at: www.artspacegallery.co.uk
An illustrated catalogue with a conversation between the artist and Timothy Hyman is available
What to expect? Toggle
Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.