6 Jun 2024 – 25 Jul 2024

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Free admission

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Blackbird Rook Presents:

Edmond Brooks Beckman, Clyde Hopkins, John Gibbons, Aimee Parrott, Phoebe Unwin.

6 June - 25 July 2024


In his combines Robert Longo paired images to create allegories of unreadability – placing faces and figures alongside abstracted landscapes and architectural details, he explored the psychological impact of the viewer’s unsuccessful attempts to make sense of an unreadable narrative. The drive to decode and discover gave the combines weight and a visual stickiness.

The paintings in this exhibition approach that same impulse – each offers just the possibility of readability. They evoke scrawls and memories and organic forms. Elements jostle, connect and unbuckle – the work is in creative flux, on the way to being finished, on the way to somewhere, an uncertain satiation, but never lands 

I’m always drawn to those paintings I’m initially confused by - partly this is to do with being unresolved, of enjoying a painting that looks like it has somewhere to be, and partly to do with a certain ugliness - an ugliness that dissolves in front of your eyes to reveal a far more satisfying beauty than a quick visual hit. The paintings here enact that performance. Within parameters that are their own, there is a sense of each artist making decisions, changing course and alighting on happy accidents that lead to another set of problems. These paintings invite prolonged scrutiny and repay with revelations - they are immersive as well as performative.

I'm reminded of Michael Fried's absorptive and theatrical modes in painting. The works in this exhibition seem both to address the viewer through the performance of marks, and at the same time be self contained and oblivious of the outside world. As painters from different generations, with works made from the late 80s to late May, they manage to break free from the weight of the medium’s long history to create paintings that are not reducible to simple records of the artist’s decision-making process, but are held in careful balance between the internal imperatives of their making and the wider associations they inspire in the viewer.

Greg Rook

Viewing by appointment only

What to expect? Toggle


Greg Rook

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Edmond Brooks Beckman

Phoebe Unwin

Aimée Parrott

John Gibbons

Clyde Hopkins


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