AboutDecember sees the opening of Art Space Gallery's annual Winterreise exhibition that takes its name from Schubert's song cycle set to Wilhelm Müller's poems which describe an allegorical journey of the heart. Reeling from the loss of his loved-one the songs represent the voice of the heartbroken poet who describes his journey through the cold, darkness and sombre winter landscape that mirrors the mood in his heart, and this year's exhibition is aptly subtitled after Song 12: Solitude.
Being the final exhibition of the year it has become traditional to use the event as a showcase for the work of artists who will feature in the following year's programme. This year Peter Archer, Yves Berger, Paul Gopal-Chowdhury and Roy Oxlade offer a foretaste of 2013 alongside guest artist David Hepher.
Peter Archer and David Hepher allow a glimpse into the condition of man from two completely different views: Archer through de-populated fragments of the English countryside with their air of disquieting calm and tense melancholy, and Hepher with vast canvases that reduce the graffiti scarred housing blocks of south London to their raw emotional state. Yves Berger gives us darksome, moody figures in an abstract landscape space that convey a deeply felt sense of a pained human presence.
Paul Gopal-Chowdhuryâs paintings are about a journey from the reality of the grimy streets of east London to an alternative dream-like space populated with ghosts, demons and other Eastern mythological characters. Roy Oxlade weaves a rich narrative from the most humble subjects in his domestic surroundings.
Drawing on their own personal histories and references to myth, literature and to philosophy we see each artist seeking out their own identity through the act of looking and painting. Like Schubert's hero they describe a journey which is solitary, melancholic and yet still exhilarating.
View images on-line at www.artspacegallery.co.uk