01.07.17 - 15.07.17

Paul Bonnet
Aisha Christinson
Anna Klimentchenko
Valentin Perrault
Tobias Teschner

The exhibition takes its inspiration from a poem written by Victor Hugo ‘Night’ (1846), and questions how artists approach dreams in their work. Through diverse references from Classisism to Romanticism, and Symbolism, each artist brings us into their own universe where vanities, monsters, and angels reflect our interiorities.

Paul Bonnet’s paintings questions the ambiguity and artiface of image making and the history of painting. His canvases depict vanitas and memento mori, and seek to perform their own artificiality consciously silent but still disquieted. Bonnet’s paintings refuse to choose between abstraction and figuration. Where line, shape and form blur with colour and texture rendered in pinks and acid greens.

In Aisha Christinson’s paintings notable works from art history are ‘re-performed’ as if in an act of cultural karaoke. The paintings hint at notions of authenticity and authorship in an image inundated world. From the likes of Diego Velazquez, Giorgione, Nicolas Poussin, Henri Pierre Picou and the pastoral landscapes of Claude Lorrain. Christinson focuses on certain details within iconic works that compel her, like the tiger playfully gnawing a foot in Odalisque Study (2017), which is taken from Picou’s painting Odalisque (1858). Christinson embellishs, overlays and repeats the motifs which go on to form rhythmic, and at times disorientating compositions. The original referenced works are mediated through paint and become naïve and exaggerated translations, painted in deliberately saturated harmonious or even discordant colour schemes, they are transformed and distorted like the voice by a karaoke microphone.

Anna Klimentchenko’s paintings are a response to her thoughts, to her way of processing human interactions and memories. By channeling her sensitivity and emotions into work, she finds a sense of meaning and an escape. In the paintings, the subtlety of the layered surfaces slowly emerges, revealing their meditative character in the spatiality of colour and its substitution of form. Images appear and disappear in relation to the viewer’s movement and respond to the changing daily lighting conditions. They are introspective and allow themselves to be revealed when viewed over a period of time. They are about what it feels like to remember. Vaporous and mutable, with interwoven layers of ethereal colour, they encourage contemplation by holding the viewer’s focus within their pictorial space.

Valentin Perrault’s paper supports are dyed with vibrant colours that are subsequently built up with layers of transparencies and patterns. Perrault has an interest in their atmospheres in which a multitude of surfaces and living matter intermingle. The subjects of his works start from an anchoring in the real and then proposes another look at what surrounds us. The parallel worlds in which the artist projects us into suggest freedom but are prone to a gentle melancholy.

In Tobias Teschner’s small and deftly worked painting, resting in the shadow of a cross in front of a dark and misty horizon, a nightmareish figure sits atop a mound gazing out. A faint glow emanating from within, illuminates a mysterious object and the contours of its body. The beast appears menacing, its malevolence embracing all that is sinister of the night. Under a crescent moon with a terrifying smile picked out in sharp white paint, it comes to haunt our dreams. For the night is not yet over.

images: Damian Griffiths