‘Outside In’, Timothy Taylor Gallery, on now until 16th June
Timothy Taylor Gallery presents a group show featuring the work of Cecily Brown, Jonathan Lasker, Richard Patterson, Alex Katz, Bridget Riley, Sean Scully, Fiona Rae and Antoni Tàpies in an exploration of formal experimentation, of the reinvention and reinvigoration of traditional genres of landscape, still life and self-portraiture by contemporary artists.
To my mind, however, ‘Outside in’ is also very much too about the relationship between introspective and extrospective looking as at once involving subjective observation, and a sustained form of meditation on the interactions between self and world, and indeed the exhibition takes its title from a 2009 work by Irish born American painter and printmaker, Sean Scully, an abstract, satisfyingly imperfect rendering of an autumn landscape complete with a window onto a brown and ochre filled vista.
Also on display is Young British Artist, Fiona Rae’s ‘Untitled’ (1995) a colourful, frenetic and kinetic work, a wild white, orange and yellow welter of winnowing wings of paint, rainbow ripples and ribbon like, curling, calligraphic lines.
Bridget Riley’s ‘Painting with Verticals (Cadence 2)’ (2006) is equally dynamic , its vibrant interlocking feminine forms reminiscent of the landscapes of 19th century French Impressionist paintings. Far from frenzied, however, ‘Painting with Verticals’ seems to me to be the epitome of a restrained form of rhythmic repetition, exuberant but never excessive.
British born, New York based artist, Cecily Brown’s ‘In, Out, Under, Through’, (2005) shares similar pastoral and intertextual concerns, a cleverly abstracted homage to Manet’s ‘Déjeuner sur L’herbe’, 1862-63. The two figures in the foreground seen against a complex architectural background seem contrastingly imbued with a simple and rather touchingly inimitable intimacy.
In ‘Harbor # 8’, (1999) Alex Katz creates a highly stylised beach scene. His wife, Ada, sits squarely in the centre of the work, while the sand and sea bisect the canvas laterally in dramatic colour blocks.
Noted Catalan painter, sculptor and art theorist, Antoni Tàpies’s ‘Tres Portes’, (1995) is an intriguingly introspective sculptural work, consisting of brown painted wood onto which are mounted three small, white, perhaps cupboard doors suggestive of coffin lids. Scrawled onto the wood is a cross along with a cryptic and yet undoubtedly evocative string of words, both legible and illegible, ‘Abando’, ‘Amor’ …. Symbolic of the passage between one state and another, of thresholds and liminal spaces, Tàpies‘ doors mark the interaction between self and world, and in death, our final (re)union: ‘from ashes to ashes, from dust to dust’. All in all a colourful, eclectic, profoundly visual and yet curiously thinking show.
All images courtesy of Timothy Taylor Gallery.