Young London Painters is the first stand-alone exhibition presented by production company Admission Production, as well as independent curator Hector Campbell’s first London curatorial project. The exhibition presents the work of eight emerging artists currently living and working in London, all either currently enrolled in, or recently graduated from, some of the most prestigious art schools in the country. With artists from Goldsmiths, Chelsea College of Arts, The Slade School of Fine Art, Royal Academy Schools, Turps Banana Painting Program, Royal College of Art and the University of Edinburgh, the exhibition showcases some of the most exciting young painters producing work in the capital today.
Lydia Blakeley employs the experience gained during her past work in fashion retail to explore the complex world of contemporary culture. Her paintings weave together layers of retro, dream-like nostalgia, the aspirational narrative of reality television and cannibalistic consumption of celebrity to offer alternative understandings of the world we live in. Elisa Carutti’s paintings contain evidence of their making, the layering of colours, shades and shapes evolve across the canvas, texture built up across the surface with sand. This clear addition and subtraction of ideas and processes comment on ideas of integration between organic, architectural and celestial forms.
Minyoung Choi’s paintings echo her other practise as a poet, the surreal scenes suggesting an extended narrative that the viewer can only continue in their imagination. Often anthropomorphic animals inhabit her fairy-tale landscapes, occupying the spaces and interacting with the objects that symbolise memories of the artists’ childhood. Emily Herring uses layers of paint on wax to create her photorealistic portraits, which explore themes such as gender, public manipulation and women’s representation in the media. Her process of scraping away the wax surface creates textured works that aim to reflect the distressing and scaring nature of public harassment which affects a large proportion of women regardless of their age, race, ethnicity or sexuality.
Jonathan Kelly’s work balances in the sweet spot between primal artistic expressionism and structured, mannered geometrism, resulting in works comparative to religious iconography and symbolism. The flat finish of Kelly’s paintings demonstrate his considered craftsmanship through which he questions more universal concerns, creating his own idols and deities that demand devotion. India Nielsen’s paintings appear to contain an inherent battle, as different ideas, styles and subject matter fight for attention on the canvas, an approach she uses to comment on the current age of information overload. The inconsistencies within our lives and experiences are laid bare in the works, which defy and transcend stereotypes and labelling.
Marco Piemonte’s paintings take to task the traditional ideas and iconography of classical and representational art, updating these concepts for the digital age through the addition of computer manipulation. The artist’s hand, therefore, becomes more apparent within the works, with the abstracted aspects evidence of their creation. Rhiannon Salisbury uses found imagery from fashion magazines and advertising campaigns, re-interpreting and recontextualising this imagery in such as way as to question the influence of, and importance placed on, image in today’s society. Through these paintings, Rhiannon highlights the often regressive and detrimental subliminal messages evident in the representation of women in popular and commercial culture.