The Fine Art Society presents a group exhibition of six contemporary artists whose practice looks at the social effects of urban regeneration.
Ghosts, at The Fine Art Society explores the failed project of modernism with a special focus on London, through the eyes of six contemporary artists. Class and politics are bound up in architecture, and each of these artists explores, from their own perspectives, the current social consequences of urban regeneration.
The title of the show refers to a London that never came to be, to the intentions of modernism that never quite played out. The idyll of post-war renewal through architecture now leaves itself open to decay, overgrowth and unchecked development. These artists present the experience of living in the remnants, in a memorial to modernism, as renewal is replaced by ‘regeneration’.
Lee Cavaliere, The Fine Art Society’s new head of Contemporary commented - “The subject of regeneration is particularly prescient; some of London’s treasured cultural markers are under threat from an apparently exponential building project. The recent ‘destruction’ of the Paolozzi mosaics at Tottenham Court Road and closure of Soho’s cultural centres are examples that have raised debate around the threat of homogenisation, which London has always resisted. These artists react to the phenomenon of the city with particular insight and erudition; it is only fitting that this conversation is carried out at the Fine Art Society, a long-time resident at London’s cultural heart.”
Juliette Losq savours the spaces between spaces, and locates the hidden and unexpected beauty of the city. Losq presents a work first shown at the John Moores Painting Prize 2014, where the artist won the Visitors’ Choice award.
Macarena Yañez (Macay), a street artist from Chile, delights in highlighting decay and ruin. Yañez often interacts with derelict structures, and she presents a record of her intervention in a soon to-bedemolished council estate in East London, which has since made way for luxury apartments.
Laura Oldfield Ford is interested in the way urban architecture and resources are misused or unused, and the ways that communities can coalesce and form in the ruins. The exhibition presents new poster works, as well as paintings first shown at Tate Britain’s 2014 exhibition Ruin Lust, a large survey exhibition on the subject of ruins in art, from the seventeenth century to the present day.
Through a playfulness with context and materials, Thomas J Price presents the everyday heroes of contemporary life, with eloquent references to classical Fine Arts. For this show, the man in the street is cast in bronze as a monument to modern living.
Through large-format photography, London artist, Simon Terrill establishes a dialogue between a location and its inhabitants. He captures the vibrancy of urban spaces, and recognises that communities and their surroundings form a symbiotic relationship.
Stuart Semple is considered one of the most provocative post-YBA artists and social commentators of his generation. His work draws heavily on pop culture references including film and music and is driven by the ways in which urban music contributes to, and represents, culture. Here he presents a major new painting based around the failure of social housing projects in South London.