29 January – 21 March, 2023
PM/AM Gallery, London, UK
Exhibition Text (PDF)
Exhibition Text (PDF)
Gallery 2 (first floor), 37 Eastcastle Street
London W1W 8DR
Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 – 19.00 and by appointment
Artists who obscure and bury meaning do so in a way that encourages viewers to adopt an archaeological or exploratory process to reach understanding; an understanding that is their own, aligned with the artist’s intention, or suspended somewhere between.
Ryan Cosbert is a research led artist producing vivid work that holds significant meaning within its bold physicality. To understand her painting is to follow two primary modes of investigation. The first opens up a dialogue with an academic, an explorer of social and political interchanges that have formed the basis of entire communities straddling displacement and cultural identity. Informing her paintings is a keenness to understand her own roots –she is of Haitian and Guyanese descent– and the frameworks that hold and have influenced the movement of the wider African diaspora.
The second asks the viewer to adopt an archaeological process, almost treating the roughened texture of the canvas itself as a substrate into which one can dig, uncovering artefacts of elapsed time, lives that have been lived and have ended, the things we leave behind. Ryan’s work is geological; there are secrets buried in the ground, half obscured by explosions of colour. Alongside bullet shells and watermelon seeds we see cans, bits of plastic and glitter, all appearing to be discarded and trodden into the ground by footsteps that echo through history.
Ryan’s work shares space with paintings that initiate the viewer in a similar way, and largely aim to bring them to a similar conclusive point. The methods and routes sitting between these points however are variable.
Rebecca Gilpin extracts her palettes from record sleeves and energetic colour associations, drawing back into various countercultural movements to inform her work. Through using oil paint and oil stick, the work is an articulation of energy, representing the continual fervour of human beings to connect and create. In direct dialogue with her work, Rebecca paints with a performative liveliness—the large canvases affording the artist room to engage the body in motion.
Hilda Kortei visits similar socio-political areas as Ryan, outlining her depiction of black struggles in the face of oppressive systems of control and dominance. Her process takes cues from her background in graphic design, which may explain a more specific use of space and defined shapes, and the significance she places on the use of black paint. She does adopt a sense of playfulness however, one that transforms the aspects of daily life that inspire her into the informal building blocks that jostle for space on the surface of a work.
Caroline Jackson’s large paintings contain a record of physical movement, swapping political history with a record of raw self-expression. In this sense her work captures the elements that characterise an artist existing in a particular moment and seals them, entangled, with others. Despite the frenetic associations with this kind of gestural abstraction, Caroline’s hand creates a sense of balance and harmony, calming any roughened discordance with patches of contrasting serenity.
Where abstraction meets suggestion we find Savannah Marie’s work, where canvases are broken into segments that suggest believable forms in the subjective mind of the viewer. These forms intersect and reform as the layers of oil and acrylic paint are further scrutinised, opening an exchange that searches for possible representative painting whilst recognising the materiality of the medium.
HP Collection is an amassed body of work from numerous artists, curated and distributed across exhibition spaces, forming part of various collaborations and archiving activities. Włodzimierz (Vladimir) Umaniec is a collector and curator, and founder of the collection and Heteronymous Painters — a legal body that enables public access to the HP Collection. In facilitating connections between the collection and the art world, he provides avenues through which this amorphous artist group can reach new audiences.
Together the artists contribute to an exhibition that eschews directness, instead encouraging visitors to adopt a personal, procedural exercise. It presents single works and specific artists as components of a whole that becomes elevated when seen as a unified terrain.