In the City
Tuesday 24 July - Saturday 1 September 2018
In the City at East GalleryNUA brings together dynamic work by nine established painters working with imagery of the city and ideas around urban space in locations ranging from the UK, Canada, and the USA to Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India.
Intermarché 3, 2002
© Jock McFadyen
Trevor Burgess, Stephen Carter, Mark Crofton Bell, Marguerite Horner, Barbara Howey, Matthew Krishanu, Lee Maelzer, Jock McFadyen, Tanmoy Samanta
More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities and artists have long represented city life in their work, from the painters of Dutch street scenes and interiors, to twentieth century British artists such as Bomberg and Sickert.
In this exhibition, the ever-changing contemporary urban environment is captured through the practice of painting, transforming and combining source material from different media such as photographs, images from newspapers, the internet as well as drawings and sketches.
The exhibition’s international scope registers the impact of global mobility and communications on artists’ sense of place. The artists give us oblique glimpses of their experience of different urban environments across three continents: Toronto and New York, Bangladesh and India, the UK and France, conveying real, imagined and remembered spaces. Commercial and residential buildings, transportation, and the natural world are all represented as are the inhabitants of the modern city.
The exhibition includes a display of preparatory material that offers an insight into the artists’ working methods.
Trevor Burgess’ series of paintings, ‘A Place to Live’, are taken from estate agent newspaper advertisements for London homes. They are familiar yet slightly strange, with their washed-out colours, uncomfortably close cropping and skewed angles.
Trevor Burgess A Place to Live 35, 2012 Oil on plywood
Stephen Carter’s work engages with the everyday around him in the city of London. He explores the fast-paced ‘urban regeneration’ of the city and overlooked public spaces juxtaposed against the slow medium of paint.
Stephen Carter, Harbet Road North, 2016, Acrylic on Canvas
Mark Crofton Bell’s watercolours cull their images from the daily newspapers of his home town, Toronto, Canada. Seen together, they form a diary of individually dated, subtly distilled images of local and global urban environments.
Mark Crofton Bell, 27-06-10 (Police Car), 2010, watercolour on paper
Marguerite Horner captures the seemingly mundane American suburban environment. The near monochrome, restrained palette creates the look of an overexposed photograph, referring to notions of loss and transience.
Marguerite was recently awarded the 2017 M.S. Amlin Prize for ‘continuity in a changing world’.
Barbara Howey uses already internet imagery of unnamed places, but through the act of painting she removes human presence. Her work explores evocations of memory and location, offering fleeting and transient glimpses through paint.
Barbara Howey, Rooftop carpark, 2017, oil on board
Matthew Krishanu’s paintings explore memories of his childhood growing up in Bangladesh, re-capturing the vulnerability of a young boy’s observation of the urban environment.
Matthew Krishanu, Crowd, 2014, oil and acrylic on board
Lee Maelzer creates paintings inspired by the everyday lives of city inhabitants, drawing attention to the leftovers of human occupation: dirt, debris and rubbish in London and Yangon, formerly Rangoon.
The exhibition will include one large painting by Jock McFadyen RA. Jock has created much of his work in response to the social environment of cities and the urbanisation of the landscape. The painting ‘Intermarché 3’ is of one of the large scale commercial developments in France that seem to stretch on forever.
Jock McFadyen, Intermarche 3, oil on canvas
Tanmoy Samanta’s work assembles an intensely personal inner world of images that obliquely comment on the urban culture in India where he lives and works. By layering unusual found objects on his paintings, his images hint at an archaeology of urban memories.
Tanmoy Samanta, The Void Land, 2013, Gouache on rice paper