Hobson’s Choice: Helen Kincaid, Figurines And Asteroids at John Jones

11 June 2012 By
Hobson's Choice: Helen Kincaid

Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, recommends his favourite exhibition of the week.

28 May – 27 July 2012

4 Morris Place, off Stroud Green Road, London N4 3JG


Open Monday – Friday, 10.00 – 16.00, Saturday 10.00 -15.00

Some of you may not know that the framer John Jones has a small gallery space at their premises in North London.  It is just a two minute walk from Finsbury Park tube station and the gallery is currently showing a new body of paintings by British artist Helen Kincaid, who won the 2011 Salon Art Prize which is sponsored by John Jones.  Titled ‘Figurines and Asteroids’, the exhibition presents modestly sized paintings of found images of objects sourced from the Internet.  These mysterious and mute paintings signal their photographic origin immediately whilst retaining the availability of their subject-matter behind blurred and unfocused surfaces.   The images feel problematically humble as the subject of such painterly scrutiny and given the art historical weight of the still-life genre.  These objects – figurines and asteroids – are both, in their different ways, adrift in their place and history, lacking a stable context for contemplation underlined by their blurred, bleached out and faded appearance.  Eluding representation, some of the images require excavation from the surface of the canvas, and are barely legible beyond a trace or imprint of something more tangible, now perhaps long-gone. The paintings evoke the idea of memory and history in a way that is reminiscent of artists like Gerhard Richter, but here on a more domestic and intimate scale.   An evocative body of work by a talented painter, well worth making the journey to see – and also very well priced!

Image: Helen Kincaid, Asteroid 2 (detail), 2012, oil on linen, 40 x 30cm, courtesy the artist

Let us know what you think at membership@contemporaryartsociety.org