For the fourth exhibition in Blain|Southern’s Lodger series, the artist Gabriella Boyd has created a new series of paintings, in which dream logic appears to dominate, and the atmosphere is suffused with both eroticism and threat.
Caught between fretful urgency and an odd, immobilising calm, these canvases feel like glimpses into a sideways dimension, where everything from social conventions to the laws of physics have been subtly redrafted by some shadowy consciousness.
Rendered in a palette of warm yellows, pinks, oranges and deep reds, we might imagine these works giving off heat, like sunbaked brickwork, or human skin. Time accretes on their surfaces, marked by single, swift brushstrokes and dense fogs of pigment. Space buckles and collapses in on itself, and bodies are turned inside out. Human relationships take on shapes that are at once strange and strangely familiar, while near-diagrammatic modes of depiction coexist with the airy diffusion of colour, line and form.
Perhaps it’s not dream logic that holds sway here at all, but rather simply Boyd’s medium. Like dreams, paintings have their own protocols, and their own deep sense of what’s necessary. They strive towards what the artist has termed a ‘given-ness’, the compositional and emotional establishment of ‘a believable world’.
Gabriella Boyd (b.1988, Glasgow) lives and works in London. She studied at Glasgow School of Art (2007-2011) and Royal Academy Schools, London (2014-2017). Selected previous exhibitions include Dreamers Awake, White Cube Bermondsey (2017), Royal Academy Schools Show (2017), Everyone is Rich Now Apparently, Supplement at 255 Canal St, NYC (2017), Gabriella Boyd & Marco Giordano, Art Park, Glasgow International (2016). Boyd was shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize in 2016, and was commissioned by the Folio Society to illustrate a new edition of Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams in 2015. Her work will feature in the forthcoming Glasgow International 2018, where it will be shown at The Pipe Factory.
Lodger is a series of exhibitions at Blain|Southern, conceived by the writer, curator, and Contributing Editor for frieze magazine, Tom Morton. Running concurrent to the exhibitions in the central space, Lodger expands Blain|Southern’s programme into new territories. Previous artists participating in the Lodger series include Alex Dordoy, Sophie Jung, and Brian Griffiths.
Tom Morton’s exhibitions include Äppärät at the Ballroom Marfa, Texas (2015), British British Polish Polish at the CSW Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2013) the touring survey British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet (2010/11, with Lisa Le Feuvre), and How to Endure at the 1st Athens Biennale (2007). He has worked as a curator at Cubitt Gallery, London and the Hayward Gallery, London, and his writing has appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues and anthologies.