Exhibition

Sydney Chastain-Chapman

7 Sep 2007 – 7 Oct 2007

One in the Other

London, United Kingdom

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Travel Information

  • Bethnal Green

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About

One in the Other is pleased to present New York artist Sydney Chastain-Chapman in her first UK solo exhibition.

Chastain-Chapman's paintings and their seemingly estranged, remote figures forge a collusion between Classicism and middle-class America, set against an incongruous natural world of uncertain seasons. She uses a type of flat glamour when it comes to constructing her characters; an assortment of picture postcard, documentary and history painting scenes lead to diverse subjects. Absent and melancholic, the women's attitudes seem indifferent to their ambivalent and inhospitable environment.

Assimilated into stage-prop scenarios that echo a type of allegorical window dressing, Chastain-Chapman's characters appear like debutants in the wilderness, perversely styled and attired. The garb speaks of a fate, or destiny, for each in some such obscure way. The figure from 'Roots' quite literally wears the physical world from around her in her complexion and hair colouring. In 'Crevasse' the girl's uncomfortably creased crutch is played out in the cracked landscape backing her. These are narratives demonstrating, at best, a type of inappropriateness and at worse, a type of ignorant collusion.

In "Winter White", three figures attempt to defy the world around them, as though the high-mindedness of their apparel will protect them against the harsh realities of the physical world. One figure wears a flimsy, spring white dress despite the cold and snow - in the U.S, it's also thought out of place to wear white after Labour Day. Another figure is wearing Eskimo-like garb and inhabiting an igloo like some sort of gauche accessory. The third figure is simply naked and shivering in a pile of leaves. They would all appear disconnected and lost in some sort of visual language ideology, unaware of the real, temporal and physical conditions of the world in which they inhabit.

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