Vitalistic Fantasies

2 Dec 2020 – 8 Dec 2020

Regular hours

Wed, 02 Dec
11:00 – 17:00
Thu, 03 Dec
11:00 – 17:00
Fri, 04 Dec
11:00 – 17:00
Sat, 05 Dec
11:00 – 17:00
Sun, 06 Dec
11:00 – 17:00
Mon, 07 Dec
11:00 – 17:00
Tue, 08 Dec
11:00 – 17:00

Free admission

The Cello Factory

London, United Kingdom


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A Contemporary British Painting exhibition bringing a visual conversation to ideas discussed in Isabelle Graw's book 'The Love of Painting'.


Artists: Iain Andrews, Amanda Ansell, Karl Bielik, Day Bowman, Julian Brown, Ruth Calland, Deb Covell, Lucy Cox, Gordon Dalton, Pen Dalton, Sam Douglas, Natalie Dowse, Fiona Eastwood, Geraint Evans, Susan Gunn, Alex Hanna, Suzanne Holtom, Barbara Howey, Phil Illingworth, Linda Ingham, Bryan Lavelle, Kirsty O'Leary-Leeson, Paula MacArthur, David Manley, Enzo Marra, Nicholas Middleton, Paul Newman, Stephen Newton, Joe Packer, Stephen Palmer, Mandy Payne, Ruth Philo, Narbi Price, Freya Purdue, James Quin, Katherine Russell, Harvey Taylor, Molly Thomson, Judith Tucker, Joanna Whittle and Sean Williams.

Curated by Paula MacArthur.

The title of this exhibition is taken from the introduction of Isabelle Graw’s 2018 book, The Love of Painting in which she argues that aliveness of paintings is created not only through the specific ways in which painters personalise their paintings by the traces of activity on the resulting work, but also through the projections of the viewer onto the painting.

She writes: One key reason I call these fantasies “vitalistic” is because they imaginatively assume qualities of living beings such as subjectivity, liveliness, and animation for dead material. In a vitalistic fantasy, human attributes – like self-command, will, and energy – are projected onto lifeless material.

The resulting record of the painter’s activity, however energetic or quiet, is suggestive of the artist themselves, the viewer is compelled to project an imagined personality onto the work.

When describing their working process painters often talk about paintings ‘painting themselves’ or ‘leading the way’ in the same way that novelists describe their characters as writing their own narrative. As a work develops its personality evolves and the painter intuitively follows.

Members of Contemporary British Painting come together at the Cello Gallery, London, in an attempt to bring a visual conversation to Graw’s ideas and consider how her argument resonates within their own individual practices.

These painters present us with images onto which we project ourselves, they are storytellers, colourists, mark makers, fantasists and so are we.

A catalogue accompanies the exhibition with an essay by Dr. Catrin Webster https://www.contemporarybritishpainting.com/vitalistic-fantasies-at-the-cello-factory/

Visits to the exhibition are bookable as 30 minute slots on Eventbrite, maximum of 6 people to comply with Covid19 rules. You will be able to meet and talk with one of the exhibiting artists whilst you are there.

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Paula MacArthur

Paula MacArthur

Exhibiting artists

Paula MacArthur

Paula MacArthur

Pen Dalton

Sean Williams

Iain Andrews

Natalie Dowse

Lucy Cox

Stephen Newton

Linda Ingham

Joe Packer

Barbara Howey

Susan Gunn

Susan Gunn

Geraint Evans

Gordon Dalton

Bryan Lavelle

Enzo Marra

Judith Tucker

Katherine Russell

Ruth Calland

Ruth Philo

Ruth Philo

Harvey Taylor

Joanna Whittle

Paul Newman

Freya Purdue

Freya Purdue

Alex Hanna

Karl Bielik

Fiona Eastwood

Kirsty O'Leary-Leeson

Amanda Ansell

Stephen palmer

Stephen palmer

Suzanne Holtom

David Manley

Sam Douglas

Deb Covell

Nicholas Middleton

Narbi Price

Julian Brown

Day Bowman

Phil Illingworth

James Quinn

Mandy Payne

Molly Thomson


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