19 April – 25 May 2013
29 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PB
Open Tuesday – Friday 11am – 6pm and Saturday 12 – 6pm
Ivan Seal is a British painter who has attracted critical interest for his paintings which appear to be still lives but are in fact painted from his imagination. His practice rejects the traditional approach to the genre which conventionally depicts a moment in time, opting instead for an approximation of a memory. His show at Carl Freedman Gallery, just off Old Street which opened last night brings together new small domestic-scale works in which painterly surfaces and textures accumulate into abstract forms – some like unmanageable and off-kilter floral arrangements, others like large pieces of coral or lichen-covered rocks, which sit on plinths or in stage-like spaces, lit obliquely against pink, mustard, deep blue and olive green backgrounds. In some paintings the brushstrokes generate an extraordinary sense of movement, whereas in others they create a sculptural effect, as if the painting had been generated through 3D printing. Poised formal arrangements in a space left undetermined but psychologically unsettling, with titles generated by a random computer programme, Seal offers up imagined subjects, with fictitious titles that refute the idea that figurative painting needs to have a subject at all.
Ivan Seal is in conversation with Curator Harriet Loffler at the Contemporary Art Society, 59 Central Street, EC1V 3AF tonight at 19.00. For more information click here.
Main image: Ivan Seal, installation view, Carl Freedman Gallery, London, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Carl Freedman Gallery, London.