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Hobson’s Choice – Carol Rhodes at Mummery + Schnelle

26 April 2013 By
Carol Rhodes, installation view at Mummery + Schnelle, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Mummery + Schnelle, London

18 April – 25 May 2013

44a Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PD

www.mummeryschnelle.com

Open Wednesday – Saturday 12 – 6pm

Scottish artist Carol Rhodes is well known for her dream-like aerial landscape paintings of edge-lands and semi-industrial landscapes collaged from real environments into fictional views that teeter on the brink of abstraction.   Her show at Mummery + Schnelle’s new gallery space just off Old Street brings together paintings and a selection of the preparatory drawings that she makes for each of them.  Working through drawing and collage from multiple sources, Rhodes develops a ‘pictorial story’ underpinned by an interest in what can be revealed by distance.  Her work is small in scale, rendered with great precision and restraint on gesso grounds in a distinctive palette of pale, washed-out pinks, muted clay colours, watery greys and lemon yellows.  The images feel symbolic and metaphorical; meaning is withheld, giving the work a poetic and metaphysical aura.  Some of the paintings are almost like negative images of surveillance footage.  Shown alongside the paintings and drawings are three items which are designed to re-orientate the reading of the work: an early 19th century Indian miniature (Rhodes spent her childhood in Bengal and has an affinity with Indian court painting); an aerial photograph from 1926 of the site of Woodhenge in Wiltshire – drawing attention to the artist’s interest in what becomes visible though distance; and a photograph by Luigi Ghirri of an avenue of trees disappearing into the mist.  A very nice show.

Image: Carol Rhodes, installation view at Mummery + Schnelle, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Mummery + Schnelle, London.