Frea Buckler’s second London solo exhibition is the exciting outcome of a long-term artistic relationship between two galleries: Smithson Gallery and Jealous Gallery. Both strive to ensure a strong relationship between gallery and artist, sharing an open ambition to collaborate that is unique in the contemporary art market and poignant in the current environment. Both galleries celebrated their ten-year anniversary last year, their paths crossing continuously throughout. 2019 marks a new chapter for their relationship and the right time to co-curate an exhibition. Encapsulating the momentum of these two modern galleries, British female artist Frea Buckler’s second solo show establishes the perfect starting point to mark this thriving relationship.
In Polychrome, Frea Buckler employs the language of hard edged geometric abstraction as a means to explore colour interactions across her dynamic unique screenprints, editions and wall painting. In these collected works, Frea’s concerns shift from her previous interest in the pure formal abstraction of primary, interlocking and juxtaposed shapes to an interrogation of functional objects and the vernacular of architecture. Through a series of visual investigations into everyday, functional forms such as door wedges, domestic furniture and decorative architectural elements, she fluidly collapses definitions of interior and exterior spatiality. These new concerns in Frea’s practice are explored in her signature palette of flat, high key and luminescent colours. For Frea, colour decisions are made intuitively and remain at the heart of a working methodology that embraces chance and experimentation, despite the precision of the works’ execution.
An instinctive approach to making the work is one of its defining features. Working freely and without compositional sketches, Frea embraces the challenges of responding spontaneously to the shapes and colours laid down on the works’ surface. Polychrome’s strength is in its capacity to demonstrate the undefined space in between intuitive expression and subjective decision making – it is a difficult space to inhabit but a truly exciting one.