3rd – 18th February 2011
Private View 2nd February 6 - 9 pm

Thomas Burton
Alexander Clarke
Phoebe Mitchell
Murray O’Grady
Sarah Shoughi
Mark Walker


The title of this exhibition featuring the latest work of six young London-based artists suggests something grandiose, however, given the current climate in the world of contemporary painting and sculpture, we wouldn’t expect anything grandiose, overblown or self-important - in fact quite the opposite - and, as it turns out, (note the title is in lower case) we won’t be disappointed. In this age of acronymic jargon we might even imagine that the title stands as an acronym for something political, the ‘Power of Material Persuasion’ (as a critique of rampant consumerism), for instance, or perhaps, the ‘Proxemics of Media Personality’ (the influence of media celebrity on our lives), or even the ‘Politics of Mass Publicity’ (a commentary on the power of access to the media).

The fact is that elements of all of those phenomena might be detected in the work of these artists, their traces exerting differential weights there, according to the varying orientations of those who view them. The fact that there is no overall theme to this show, but that it is, instead driven by a certain synergy between the artists, who share similar backgrounds as regards training and experience, means that it offers a refreshing tabula rasa upon which the viewer may consider each work on its own merits, without the constraints of theme or topic, ‘school’ or ‘movement’. The title ‘pomp’ it turns out, is a red herring that gives the show an edge, neatly honed by its thwarting of expectations.

Paint and sculpture work together to both create a balance and offer a counterpoint in the dynamic of this show. Murray O’Grady, Sarah Shoughi and Mark Walker offer very contrasting sculptural work, while Phoebe Mitchell and Alexander Clarke are showing abstract paintings, offering the contrasting geometries of the ovoid and the square, that present wide horizons for interpretive possibilities. Tom Burton’s monochrome paintings-as-objects are both the story of those objects and their narrators at the same time. If we need to establish contextual relationships between the works of these artists, as the palimpsest for a theme for this show, then it is their attention to detail, and the fact that in their works ‘object’ tends to overrule ‘subject’, but most of all, the understated ‘pomp’ of their work, which brings both an irony to the title of the show and creates the synergy between their works.
Text by Roy Exley

Show curated by Phoebe Mitchell & Mark Walker


Private View Invite (pdf)

Press Release (pdf)

newsletter 2/2011


Art Catlin



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