The works depict actual sites and structures, but there is an indirect purchase on the external world - viewing reality through an interpretive lens in the manner of a plan, a model or a map. Following Carter’s paintings from the turn of the millennium, which trace the organisation of newspaper pages or the use of particular words in the media on a single day, the new paintings also bear witness to the ebb and flow of city life and document its evolving manifestations.
The visual subject matter here - construction, demolition, reconfiguration and reinvention of urban sites - has a longer life than the fleeting imagery of our media channels but it presents the same daily process: overwriting one version of modernity with another. Whilst the titles describe specific vantage points in London and indicate the direction of view, this approach to representation sits at the opposite end of the spectrum to street photography. The experience of urban living in the era of globalization, as it is described in these paintings, utilizes remnants of its own immediate past to locate intimations of the near future.
Stephen Carter (b.1949) lives and works in London. He is represented by Beardsmore Gallery.