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A Pull or A Push

A Pull or A Push

Curated by Alexandra Baraitser
Preview: Friday 2nd February, 6-9pm
3 Feb till 18 Feb 2024
Main Gallery

Alexandra Baraitser
Miranda Boulton
Srabani Ghosh
Rae Hicks
David Leapman
Kathy MacCarthy
Günther Herbst
Katie Pratt
Zoe Schoenherr
Sheila Vollmer

A Pull or A Push, a group exhibition curated by Alexandra Baraitser.

Isaac Newton said in his third law that ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’. This statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. A force is a pull or a push that acts upon an object as a result of its interaction with something else. For example if you sit on a chair it will push upwards on your body. The forces of nature have fascinated and inspired artists for centuries and been translated into many artistic creations. Often artists attempt to break such laws and push boundaries (to make their own unique chaos) but at the same time they enjoy exploring balanced elements.

The work in A Pull or A Push forms a dialogue set up by the tension and struggle within the artist’s subject. The resulting pieces are both chaotic but at the same time structured and infinitely complex.

About the artists:
Alexandra Baraitser is a curator and artist. Her paintings have been in numerous shows, including the John Moores Painting Prize and the Nat West Art Prize. Baraitser’s paintings are a celebration of contemporary design and architecture and are based on images she selects from vintage magazines. Through painting she hopes to invite discussion of the relationship between ‘high art’ abstraction and iconic design. Baraitser’s work was selected for the Art Can Open (2018) and the Cambridge Show, Kettle’s Yard (2019). She has been the recipient of the Abbey Scholarship in Painting (the British School at Rome). She has had solo exhibitions at Hirschl Contemporary Art, Mark Jason Gallery and AMP Gallery.

Miranda Boulton is a painter whose work focuses on the history of still life floral painting, curiously exploring what it means to dedicate a practice to the overlooked. She reimagines a genre once seen as superficial, feminine and slight. Memories of historical paintings are used as the starting point and paintings explore new motifs from old imagery linked through expressive layers of colour, gesture and form. They are meditations on the history of art but they are also alive to more urgent, emotional questions surrounding the fragility and transience of life. Boulton studied Art History at Sheffield Hallam University and Turps Art School. In 2021 she won the Jacksons Painting Prize. She is represented by Cynthia Corbett.

Srabani Ghosh studied Ceramic Design at Central Saint Martins. The spirit of revival and innovation that underpins her work is born of a desire to create something recognisable and contemporary, which touches people’s memories. Working across ceramic and paper, her practice is rooted in traditional materials, processes, and an exuberance of pattern making, which combines her Indian heritage with observations of a life of diaspora. She has exhibited globally, with works held in private collections across Europe, Asia and the USA. In 2023 she was the recipient of the Royal Society of Sculptors - Gilbert Bayes Award and Chapel Arts Studios Emerging Sculptors Development Award. She won the 2023 Persimmon Chinnor Public Art Commission.

Rae Hicks holds a degree in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths University of London and a Masters in Painting from the Royal College of Art. He also attended the HFBK Hamburg as a guest student of Professor Anselm Reyle. Delusions, stories and theories of all shades form the narrative material of Rae's paintings and sculptures, in which objects and beings freely trade states and everyday things are filtered through the lenses of psychogeography and hauntology. He is especially fixated on paranoia and mania in postwar British sci-fi and the parallels it holds with the current psychological landscape.

"David Leapman is a painter of enchanted, mystical works of prolific script-like mark making, visual conjuring tricks and philosophical ponderings." - Jo Manby. Leapman is a graduate of Goldsmith College, London. His paintings are associated with the British YBA art movement and are included in Shark Infested Waters, The Saatchi Collection of British Art in the 90’s. Major shows include Aperto 90 at the Venice Biennale, Problems of Picturing, Serpentine Gallery, Journeying in Search of Hidden Treasures, Ikon Gallery, The East Wing Collection, Courtauld Institute. Leapman is a winner of the John Moores Painting Prize, shortlisted for the Jerwood Painting Prize and the Jerwood Drawing Prize. He represented Great Britain at the 26th Festival International de la Peinture. In 2004 David won the Abbey Award Fellowship (British School at Rome). Born in London and currently living in California, he is an active member of Durden and Ray, Los Angles, curating exhibitions around the globe. Leapman’s work can be found in many public and private collections including V & A, London, British Council, Arts Council of Great Britain, Contemporary Art Society, Walker Art Gallery, and the Saatchi Collection.

Kathy MacCarthy grew up in post industrial Liverpool, her memory of abandoned domestic and manufacturing buildings throughout the city, coupled with the development of an interest in the body as form and mass has continued to be a rich and playful foundation for her work. The physicality of materials and making objects is at the centre of what she makes, whether it is clay with its malleable and slippery texture, allowing it to shift or even collapse into its own form, often interlocking with other forms or even using a lighter material, such as Jesmonite, which she can use to balance and extrude in a way that clay does not allow.

Günther Herbst’s practice focuses on the appropriation and deployment of architectural Modernism in South Africa. His work is an attempt to draw attention to marginal modernist aesthetics in order to reconceptualise and reinterpret hierarchical colonial frameworks that developed out of the centre of European Modernism. The towers reminiscent of Constantin Brancusi and mounted interchangeably on the roofs of these domestic houses are intended to conjure up a well-known modernist abstract trope with the intention to turn these South African houses into memorials mourning the tragic events of apartheid and its relation to Modernism. His practice seeks to provide a contextual ground for what is a critique of Modernism and its inextricable relation to colonialism. Günther Herbst was born in South Africa and came to London in 1995. He studied at Goldsmiths University of London where he obtained his master’s degree in 2002.

Katie Pratt MA (RCA) (1998) is an abstract painter living in London. Winner of the Jerwood Painting Prize 2001. Exhibitions include a two-person show alongside Rosie Mullan at Kingsgate Project Space, London in 2023. In 2021 she curated Autumn Attic at Flowers Gallery and other notable group exhibitions include Location /Dislocation at Mark Rothko Center, Daugavpils touring to Dubulti Art Station, Riga, 2020; Patrick Heron, Jonathan Lasker, Katie Pratt at John Hansard Gallery Southampton, 2006; Landscape Confection, curated by Helen Molesworth at Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus Ohio touring to Contemporary Arts Museum; Houston Texas and Orange County Museum of Art, California 2006. Solo Exhibitions include at Galerie Peter Zimmermann, 2012 and 2016; Fine Art Society, London, 2012; Kontainer Gallery Los Angeles, 2003, 2005 and 2008; Forum d’Art Contemporain, Sièrre, 2003 and Houldsworth Fine Art London, 2001 and 2003.

Zoe Schoenherr MFA (Slade) (2012) is a multidisciplinary artist who creates sculptures informed by the analysis of the moving body and the built environment. She has collaborated with professionals from dance, engineering, architecture and choreography and produced work in world-renowned facilities such as the UCL laboratory’s Pedestrian Accessibility Movement Laboratory. She holds an MSc in Environmental Psychology from University of Surrey (2019). She has been nominated and selected to participate in national and international residencies, including QatarUK, Qatar &18th Street Arts Centre, Los Angeles and shortlisted for Mark Tanner Prize and First Plinth 2021. She has won funding from Art Humanities Research Council, British Council and Leverhulme Trust.

Sheila Vollmer explores line, form and space, using steel, wood, skirting board, rope and tinted Perspex. She references architecture, natural systems, and our physical and emotional relationship to these. Her method responds directly to material and space. She constructs her sculpture in a modular rhythm of replicated changing units; both opening and containing space, searching to express the inside/outside pull of energy. Added colour accentuates line, form and space creating rhythm and energy to ever-changing views. She has exhibited widely in the U.K. and featured in group exhibitions in Ireland, Holland, Taiwan, Germany, Canada and USA. Solo exhibitions and commissions include Sine Line, Public Sculpture Commission, Milton Keynes, 2020 and Artist of the Day (solo), Flowers Gallery Central, London 2015.

Thames-Side Studios Gallery
Thames-Side Studios
Harrington Way, Warspite Road
Royal Borough of Greenwich
London SE18 5NR

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