Following his 2014 sell out show, Tom French returns to Lawrence Alkin Gallery with his latest body of work, Transcend. Evolving from French’s Duality series, the exhibition continues to incorporate figurative elements and the artists’ signature use of illusion, while embracing abstraction more than previous works.
About the artist and this show
In the slant towards abstraction, French allows for his work to be interpreted on multiple levels. He commented: “Abstraction is less obvious, so the images are open to a wider range of meanings and interpretations. It’s intended to offer the viewer a more personal experience – different people will see different things and read the images in their own ways.”
French is fascinated with exploring the relationship between the conscious and subconscious and this is communicated through his paintings. The figurative elements of his work represent the conscious, with characters absorbed in their own actions. The abstracted portraits in which they sit representing the subconscious, the instinctual yet hidden human drives that shape and determine the blissfully unaware subjects and make up the bigger picture.
“These latest paintings are formed through a more abstract, improvised and free flowing approach. For this series I worked straight onto canvas with only a very loose idea of the outcome. This allowed the images to naturally evolve, while I intuitively worked out placement and composition as they progressed.”– Tom French 2016
Opening their 2016 exhibition programme, the Lawrence Alkin Gallery welcomes STATIC to host a solo exhibition presenting their unique layered glass reinterpretations of 8-bit video game graphics.
The show has been born out of the duo’s massively successful Game On! image released early 2015. Press Play reflects on the sub-culture of gaming and how since its inception in the mid-twentieth century it has carved for itself its own sub-culture and global following, which now has far reaching influences. The new work and exhibition also reflects back on how these early graphics have come to influence and inspire contemporary design.
Featuring images from a host of well-known, iconic, games from both arcade machines and early home entertainment systems such as Tetris, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Super Mario & Pac Man, this show promises to start your year with a bang!
Good and warm weather are good things but how about good art shows? Yes that adds to the flavour.
Dave White is a contemporary British Artist who dedicates his work to celebrating popular culture and interpreting emotive issues.
White graduated with a BA (Hons) Fine Art (Painting) at Liverpool John Moores University. He has enjoyed success from the inception of his career with selection for the Northern Graduates exhibition at the Royal College of Art in 1994, then exhibiting his initial animals series. A highlight of this period was exhibiting at Sotheby’s London to celebrate the Blue Cross centenary and international art fairs.
White has continued to reflect popular culture and in 2002 he pioneered the ‘Sneaker Art’ movement with the execution of pop art inspired sneaker portraits. This has led to a long term collaborations with Nike and Brand Jordan.
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We went to a few shows of this artist over the years such as the “Sold out” show at Lock Studios back in 2013. This was actually the last time we saw the artist’s works in the flesh so we are looking forward to the few London shows he is having during this summer and included all the details below
1. ‘Summer exhibition’ at LOUGHRAN GALLERY
> Summer exhibition – now open with works from Chris Levine, Nick Jeffrey, Douglas Kirkland and many more. Original oil paintings and watercolours by Dave White will be available to view in this exhibition.
2. ‘Mix’ at LAWRENCE ALKIN GALLERY
> Lawrence Alkin Gallery will hold their Summer Exhibition ‘Mix’ from 9th July to 5th September featuring an array of original work and editions by names such as Damien Hirst, Ben Eine, Warhol, Blek le rat and Banksy.
Dave White will be unveiling two exclusive new oil paintings for this exhibitions
3. ‘Dog Days’ at HANG UP GALLERY
> Hang-Up Gallery are proud to present Dog Days : this season’s most engaging group exhibition showcasing a unique blend of freshly created artworks from 16 of Hang-Up’s leading body of contemporary and urban artists.
State of the art limited edition prints and original releases in various mediums have been created exclusively for the highly anticipated show that will open 24 July 2015.Dave White will unveil a rare Gold Leaf Stag Edition (of 10), a 24 colour silkscreen with a 24 carat gold leaf background.
When we got the email about this show –The Golden Age of Grotesque by SEPE (aka Michał Sepe Wręga), we immediately got very excited as we knew for sure that it would be a good one.
We have been following SEPE at Art-Pie for a while now and know he’s destined to great things and achievement in the art world.
> More pics at the bottom of this article
What is the show about?
“Lawrence Alkin Gallery are thrilled to present ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’, the provocative and alluring UK debut solo show from Polish street artist Sepe. The brand new body of work explores current socio-political issues, demonstrating Sepe’s unique ability to cross the boundary between subjective and abstract depiction. ” Sam Rhodes, Director at Lawrence Alkin Gallery.
This is the artist’s first solo show in the UK presenting 19 brand new works prepared especially for the exhibition, most of them done in 2015.
There you have it. We unfortunately missed the opening night but to be honest, it is sometimes difficult to fully enjoy the art on display when galleries are overcrowded with people. Instead we visited the next day, only encountering one or two souls wandering the premises. This actually worked out very well as we could thoroughly enjoyed Sepe’s artworks.
As soon as you enter the Lawrence Alkin gallery, you cannot miss a rather imposing piece – “Follow the leader”
Details below of the “Follow the leader” piece
You can’t help but notice the illustrative feel that Sepe’s art transpires.
The artists himself agrees on it “My paintings are strongly rooted in illustration. This way of perception works the best when supported by some kind of story behind it.”
He adds “We managed to gather all humans’ knowledge into one place. Made it available to everyone, everywhere by creating a worldwide network and we use it mainly to share sweet photos of puppies. What is it then if not The Golden Age Of Grotesque…?”
What is the underlying story behind “The Age of grotesque”?
Like many artists featured on this site, Sepe’s background lies in graffiti. He has been an active member of the Warsaw (Poland) graffiti scene where he currently lives.
This exposure to the energy of the city and its streets has definitely opened the artist’s sensitivity and increased his social awareness. Indeed with this show, Sepe wanted to emphasise how the “world gets totally dominated by the vain celebrity culture, focused on creating fake images of itself just for the show and turning everything into pop mush for sale.”
SEPE’s work is centralised around you and me, around humans and perhaps it is about where we are heading to – Modern societies tend to alienate individuals;our only refuge is seemingly joining the crowd where acknowledgment matters most. We then share moments via social media, often with souls unknown to us, and yet somehow that makes us feel good, as though we somehow now belong.
Rhythm and energy
Another remarkable aspect of SEPE’s work is how well he captures life moments on the canvas: bold, energetic and rhytmic. Indeed, his way of applying fat brush strokes gives the viewer a sense of movement and that takes away the static notion of a still scene.
As we were wandering around the gallery, this in particular became more and more obvious as well as remarkable.
The artist’s vision of our current society is not that reassuring and the somewhat recurrent use of circus related elements – circus music, belly dancers, clowns on stilts, monkeys riding small bicycles and firework displays adds to it, making the whole thing very chaotic and scary.
How often are sad clowns used in movies to scare the sh*t ouf of you uh?
Tom French is one of these artists who conveys a very particular style and when you see a “Tom French” you know right away that it is a “Tom French”.
With this idea occupying my mind, I was looking forward to see the artist’s new show “Flux” at Lawrence Alkin gallery. I was already familiar with the artist’s intricate style where skulls are a major element in his works.
But look closer and you might realise that there is most probably another more important element in that artist’s composition : the “hidden” characters that actually make up those skulls and faces and this is what we particularly like this artist.
FLUX is another tribute to the fact that the artist plays so cleverly with figurative realism and surrealism and invite you to a twirl of emotions and suggestions.