DATE & TIME
Monday 12th March 2018
10:00 am to 11:00 am
63A Broughton Road, London SW6 2LE
ENCLAVE BY JONATHAN WATERIDGE
In his first exhibition with Pace London and HENI, Wateridge presents his most expressive and personal body of work to date. As a starting point fo the series, the artist constructed a large scale set of his childhood garden in Zambia and then worked with actors to develop the imagery for his paintings. Enclosed in an apparent world of poolside suburban sunshine, Enclave points to a protected yet fictionalised space that references both the artist’s childhood memories of a lost past juxtaposed with the wider issues of the West’s role in our post-colonial world.
These new works represent an evolution in Wateridge’s painting practice. Initially the works appear as a realist depiction of the scene at hand but the wide variance of mark making and focus on surface, means that, on closer inspection, their verisimilitude begins to break down. As a result, the materiality of the paint comes to the fore.This serves as both a celebration of the painterly and a subtle reminder to the viewer that this is an entirely fabricated environment. The interplay of the figure paintings with the more formal works of the surrounding garden wall – a leitmotiv that runs throughout the exhibition – also places an emphasis on the language of painting as much as narrative or social connotations.
The works depict everyday scenes such as sunbathing or lying post-dip on the wet poolside, sharing a drink on the patio or children playing with the family dog. However, through Wateridge’s orchestrated control of the environment, their inherent ‘mundanity’ creates a world that becomes increasingly strange and unfamiliar. This subsequent sense of unease and daylight disquiet also hints at the larger issues at work behind the halcyon facade.
In paintings such as Swimmer, or Pool, the reclining figures have echoes that range from the Jonestown massacre, to filmmaker John Carpenter. Cinematography is further explored with allusions to Frank Perry’s 1968 film The Swimmer, which charts the suburban odyssey of a man through a world to which he no longer has access. For Enclave, the artist recasts the all American actor Burt Lancaster as a young African man thereby creating a new set of loaded and political associations.
Literary references are embedded within these paintings, in particular the writing of the Argentinian author Adolfo Bioy Cesares and his short story The Invention of Morel, where a castaway finds himself trapped on an island uncannily populated by people he can see but who remain unaware of his presence. He moves around them « simultaneously, almost in the same places, without colliding ».
« But where are the ghosts hidden within the enclave? Are its white denizens merely ciphers of a nostalgic past that no longer exists or is the African swimmer the spectre of a colonial history that haunts that nostalgia and whose contemporary form and steady gaze challenges the West’s lingering sense of entitlement? » asks Jonathan Wateridge. In Enclave, the artist conjures up an ambiguous world that attempts to unravel what might be termed ‘a politics of memory’, a strategy that is both personal and political in its reading.
The exhibition is presented in cooperation with Mark Sanders Art Consultancy.
Jonathan Wateridge (b. Zambia 1972) is one of the leading figurative painters of his generation. His work explores an entirely constructed world of ‘non-events’ that have the trappings of a real occurrence but for the most part are entirely fabricated, in order to raise questions about how one frames and understands notions of the real.
A significant part of his work over recent years has been to reconfigure or re-make a given scenario or found image. This involves building full-scale sets and using performers to enact roles, within the context of the studio, in order to set up questions about the way we frame and understand notions of the real.
The work employs painterly realism as a ‘default setting’ by which to view the world, curbing any excesses of expressive style to emphasise not only the often fleeting, banal and everyday quality of the scenes depicted but also the nature of their construction.
In recent work, the tension between depiction and form (the social dimension of the figuration and the more formal ‘abstracted’ elements in the paintings) represents the artist’s increasing exploration into the relationship of the medium and its history to the shifting images of contemporary life.
As a student of the Glasgow School of Art in the early 1990s, Watering abandoned painting until 2005 when he embraced on a series of dramatic disaster paintings that fused B-movie aesthetics with the romantic sublime. These paintings were followed by the Group Series, a collection of faux historical tableaux depicting commemorative gatherings from Astronauts to Sandinista rebels which were included in Newspeak: British Art Now at the Saatchi Gallery in 2010; Another Place, a series of seven monumental paintings pertaining to a fictional disaster movie that explored the artist’s filmic memory of the city of Los Angeles, was exhibited at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice in 2011.
Subsequent exhibitions include Inter + Vista, an exploration of contemporary vignettes via figurative and formalist practices, shown at L + M Arts, Los Angeles in 2013 and most recently ‘Colony’, a series of paintings depicting the conditioned movements of a group of young adults ensconced in the setting of anonymous apartments, exhibited at Galerie Haas in Berlin in 2016.
2014: Monument, Wilkinson, London
2013: Inter + Vista, L + M Arts, Los Angeles
2011: Mittelland, All Visual Arts, London
2010: Another Place, All Visual Arts, London
2006: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, David Risley Gallery, London
2004: Fordham Gallery, London
2012: Metamorphosis, All Visual Arts, The Crypt, One Marylebone, London
2012: Beyond Reality – British Painting Today, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague
2011: The World Belongs to You, Pinault Foundation, Palazzo Grassi, Venice
2010: Newspeak, British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
2010: Newspeak, British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London
2010: Vanitas; The Transience of Earthly Pleasures, All Visual Arts, London
2009: Newspeak, British Art Now. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
2009: The Age of the Marvellous, All Visual Arts, London
2007: A Song Turning Inwards, Tatjana Peters/One Twenty, Ghent
2006: The Stone in Art, Rove, London
2005: Accidental Death, David Risley Gallery, London
Pinault Foundation – Venice
Didier Casimiro – Kiev
Saatchi Collection – London
Olbricht Collection – Essen
Simmons & Simmons – London
Anita Zabludowicz Collection – London
Benedict Taschen – Germany
Pace is a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most significant international artists and estates of the twentieth and tents-first centuries. Founded by Ame Glitchier in Boston in 1960 and led by Marc Glitchier, Pace has been a constant, vital force in the art world and has introduced many renewed artists’ work to the public for the first time. Pace has mounted more than 800 exhibitions, including scholarly shows that have subsequently travelled to museums, and published over 400 exhibition catalogues. Today, Pace has nine locations worldwideL three galleries in New York; one in London; one in Palo Alto, California; one in Beijing; and spaces in Hong Kong, Paris and Menlo Park, California. In 2016, the gallery launched Pace Art + Technology, a new programme dedicated to showcasing interdisciplinary art groups, collectives and studios whose works explore the confluence of art and technology. Pace London inaugurated its flagship gallery at 6 Burlington Gardens in 2012.
Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst began her career at Sotheby’s before working for Gagosian for 10 years, first in New York City and then as director of his first London gallery. In 2008 she joined Abramovich’s and Zhukova’s The Garage in Moscow as international director and programme co-ordinator where she continued in an advisory role following her return to London in 2010 to set up the London Pace Gallery.