Charlie Smith London is pleased to announce its final show of the year, Idolatry. This exhibition presents a group of artists who work fundamentally in miniature form. Image based, their work is informed by contemporary and historical visual culture, and undergoes a transformation as the artist intervenes with the found or appropriated. Taking ownership of the image, each artist reinvents the mechanically (or digitally) reproduced by returning it to the handmade. The choice of subject and method of application combine to create evocative works that are quietly subversive.
Tom Butler collects Victorian cabinet cards and works over the image in delicately rendered gouache. Using ever evolving motifs Butler seeks to conceal elements of the original subject, whilst projecting alternative characteristics on to them. Geometric abstract patterns; flora; hair; fur; or bandages might be employed to interrupt the original photographic image.
Susannah Douglas makes impeccable drawings derived from found childhood photographs. Undoubtedly nostalgic, Douglas uses intelligent devices to jolt the viewer. Drawing on photographic techniques, Douglas might crop the drawing unusually; repeat an element to allude to spliced film; or subtly mirror an image, often having already collaged disparate source elements from which to make the drawing.
Luke Jackson draws on the political, social and philosophical to imbue his impasto paintings with an unusually weighty atmosphere. Often isolated within a space with only suggestions of an environment, Jackson’s figures suggest a Kafkaesque state of monotony, endeavor, disorientation and menace.
Sam Jackson is recognized for his psychologically charged portraits and highly sexual nudes. Jackson’s newest paintings depict figures engaged in sexual activity in outside, rural environments. Whilst often being direct, these paintings have a gentleness that suggests the erotic rather than pornographic, and recalls 19th century en plein air painting.
Geraldine Swayne makes seductive, lyrical paintings in enamel on copper or aluminium. Swayne’s evident enthusiasm for the physicality and fluidity of paint is coupled with diverse and instinctive choices of subjects that are often surprisingly transgressive. Serial killers, murder victims and effete male models populate Swayne’s paintings alongside celebrities, friends and historical figures.
Together with this exhibition we will present a new set of prints that was made to exhibit at the recent Saatchi Gallery exhibition ‘Cultus Deorum’, curated by gallery director Zavier Ellis. The series features etchings; offset prints; linocuts; lithographs and c-type prints by Florian Heinke, Sam Jackson, Reece Jones, Eric Manigaud, Alex Gene Morrison, Gavin Nolan, Dominic Shepherd and The Cult Of RAMMΣLLZΣΣ. Each is an edition of 50 and available at £250 + VAT.