Maxime Angel – Let My Eyes Be Your Mirror at C4RD

Centre for Recent Drawing presents the first UK solo exhibition of artist Maxime Angel. Through a highly physical and performative relationship to her drawing practice, Maxime Angel mines a deep held fascination with human sexuality and mortality in her intensely beautiful yet disturbing works on paper and card.

Angel’s personal interaction with her medium and her ability to project the internal and external machinations of the artitst’s body onto the 2D plane create a deeply visceral viewing. She lies, sleeps, smudges, interacts, destroys, scars, crumples and lives with her work, upon which she inscribes her fears, experiences and realities. Thus the drawings become an artifact of her life, laid bare in an intimate exchange of imagery and symbolism that sees the viewer not only connecting with Angel but reading something of themselves in the work.

The fragile nature of the medium reflects the works powerful grasping for fleeting beauty, as young vitality morphs into decay. Angel deploys these images as a metaphor for AIDS and our constant slide towards death, although she regards the act of drawing as itself a way propagate life, a Dorian Grey like exorcism of the inevitable.

Maxime Angels work traces a long and complex historical line of queer drawing, from tattooing to gay erotica, yet cannot be described simply as pornography. Her erotic illustrations mesh together both personal and cross-cultural references in uneasy yet sublime cohesion, while her beautiful and complex compositions recall traditions of Vanitas and still life. In doing so she subverts and utilizes the gay sub cultures, religion and pop iconography that have so influenced her life, exposing and exploring perceptions of gay narcissism.

Capturing what Angel describes as the ‘perfection in decay,’ these works entice the viewer with a rich visual language which is at once highly distinctive to the artist yet ultimately recognizable and truthful. We are reminded of our own mortality, but also of the cyclical and uplifting nature of life.

Maxime Angel will be working on a large site specific drawing in the gallery space in the weeks leading up to the show- feel free to come visit and watch Angel’s process on 28-30th April and 5-7th May 12-6pm. The show is curated by Paul Kindersley.

Words by Paul Kinderseley

Where – C4RD | 2 – 4 Highbury Station Road, Highbury Islington, London.

When – opening reception on Tuesday 10th May 2011 from 6 – 8pm. The exhibition will run from 11th May to 17th June 2011

“The Age Of Reason, a show by Chris Stevens at Beaux Arts London

"Arsenale" by Chris Stevens | Art-Pie
“Arsenale” by Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens is a painter with the firm belief that art is a marriage between concept and technical accomplishment. The process of making a painting is as much a part of the work as the finished piece. Challenging our preconceptions about people, this is an artist who explores current identity, class, race and gender.

Recently he co-curated ‘REALITY’ at the Sainsbury Centre, an exhibition that brought together over 50 works celebrating the strength of British painting. Some of the best and most influential artists of the last sixty years were exhibited in the show – key figures of the 20th century such as Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and David Hockney.

 

Having studied Fine Art at the University of Reading under Terry Frost, he has exhibited regularly since graduating in 1978. A prize-winner in the BP Portrait Award, 50 over 50 and more recently in the Painted Faces exhibition organised by the Saatchi Gallery and Windsor & Newton, he has also undertaken Arts Council residencies at Sunderland Football Club and Birmingham International Airport.

"Bibaud" by Chris Stevens | Art-Pie
“Bibaud” by Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens has worked in public and private collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, The National Gallery of Wales, Unilever, Galerija Portreta, Bosnia & Herzegovina and many private collections in UK, South Africa, USA and Europe. He currently lives and works in France.

Erik Sommer or painting with cement

Mediums you can use to paint are countless, it is only down to the artist to use them or not. Meet Erik Sommer and his very original and unique way of painting with cement. We talked to Erik to find out a bit more about him and his work.

ART-PIE: How did you come to use cement in your work?

Erik Sommer: I’ve been using cement in my work for several years. I like its urban grittiness, especially as I live in NYC and am surrounded by buildings and cement. My work is about the passing of time, and beauty and chance and control. It is about capturing the passing of time, and the beauty found within its accidental natural effects.

A-P: Most of the work I can see from your website are using mixed medias? What are they?

Erik Sommer: Most of my work is mixed medium on canvas. I use cement and plasters, acrylic pastes, gessos, some acrylic and oil pants. Most of the materials are home modeling materials which happen to be white, which make the most recent pieces white, although I do use colors as well. The various layers of material act as different stages of time. The work is very three-dimensional and comes off of the canvas. It is very industrial and physical.

A-P: What are your inspirations?

Erik Sommer: I like everyone from Rudolf Stingel, to Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Andy Goldsworthy, Basquiat, etc.

Any upcoming shows?: I am represented in NYC by Rooster Gallery, and am beginning to work with Arch 402 in London as well. I have a piece in a group show/ auction with Arch 402 in April, and then hopefully will be doing more with them later this summer. My next solo show with Rooster in NYC will be next year.

Related link
Erik Sommer’s website – www.erikjsommer.com

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