Phillip Allen, Phyllida Barlow, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Paul Cole, Giles Corby, Andrew Ekins, Nick Fox, Nicky Hirst, Sand Laurenson, Hannah Maybank, Jane Millar, Katie Pratt, Piers Secunda, Kate Street, Jamie Partridge and Narbi Price.
Everything has its beauty (1.)
Pretty Ugly brings together the work of sixteen artists, all of whom explore a fugitive beauty within “a degraded sense of reality"(2.)
Each sees value in the imperfect and the irregular, the pull of the sublime and the illicit. Theirs is an aesthetic that gains potency by being elusive, abject, and impolite, while testing the capacity of what has been made to represent the content it is intended to have. The resulting forms manifest a flawed but compelling beauty, and are distinguished by a delight in a logic of brokenness: surfaces that have a corrupted ornamentation and an abused touch of the brush.
These artists make delinquent un-palettable paintings, ceramics that relish the quiddities and quirks of form, and sculpture that emphasises the substance and materiality of thingness. The work of each employs an expanded creative language, exploring a narrative of otherness in pursuit of the lure of a tainted kind of love, a fatal attraction.
Andrew Ekins, March 2021
(1. Confucious, 2. Bruno Schultz, Street of Crocodiles)