Who? For its latest exhibition, Go Figure, The Cob Gallery has brought together six young, UK-based artists – Gabriella Boyd, Simon Foxall, Darrell Hawkins, Kate Lyddon, Alice McCabe and Luke Waller – whose work centres on the human form in a diverse and vibrant range of interpretations.
"With very fashionable new media and minimal art at the forefront of the contemporary scene, I hope people will be reminded of the art of figurative painting" – Roxie Warder
What? The works on display, while stylistically unique from one another, overlap in various thematic and formalistic ways, breathing new life into the figurative painting genre. Former Catlin Prize finalist Gabriella Boyd, for instance, hones in on figures from a voyeur's perspective. Her paintings, primarily in oil, pose subtle questions about the characters' relationship to each other, while merging private and public, as well as interior and exterior, settings to intriguing effect. Elsewhere, London-based painter and SHOWstudio contributor Luke Waller reimagines a young couple's holiday photographs from the 1950s in a beautiful series of small-scale works on paper. Saturated colours and hazy perspective create an air of romantic nostalgia, and as Waller immerses himself in the duo's world, he becomes part of their personal interaction.
Why? The exhibition is a playful and stimulating showcase of new talent, and a thought-provoking comment on the relevance, and ongoing progression of the figurative genre. As curator Roxie Warder explains, "I was inspired by how the artists highlight the importance of the human form and challenge the conventions of figurative painting in their work; how they adapt it to the subject’s constant evolution in a refreshing and colourful way. With very fashionable new media and minimal art being in the forefront of the contemporary art scene, I hope people will come away reminded of the art of figurative painting and incredible skill and expression of colour capable from young artists in that medium."
GO FIGURE is at The Cob Gallery, Camden until August 24 (open Wed-Sun).
Text by Daisy Woodward