Sculpture, Oil, Acrylic, and Now 3D: How Art Takes on the Test of Time in “There and Now” at Leontia Gallery

There are only a handful of ways the concept of ‘time’ (in it’s ever-evasiveness) can be explored.  Though its presence makes plants and flowers bloom and fade with an admirable punctuality in precision, the effect it has on us as humans does not adhere to the same delicacy. “There and Now”- presented by Leontia Gallery, gathers a roster of leading-edge contemporary artists all of which deliver an idiosyncratic approach in paying homage to the past, the present and the expanding medium.

The multi-disciplinary exhibition will feature works by Nina Fowler, Butch Anthony and Rosie Emerson – who plans to unveil the first ever 3D painting seen in the U.K.

Tell me a little about the concept behind your forthcoming exhibition ‘There and Now.’ Does it relate to your growth as a gallerist/curator since starting ‘Leontia Gallery’?

I love artists who have a strong aesthetic and a highly accomplished technique, which is why I came up with the concept for the show; I wanted artists who were inspired by the past in some way but with a very contemporary voice. I don’t think enough contemporary artists focus on technique these days which is why I wanted to bring all of these fantastically skilled artists together

The show certainly doesn’t intentionally relate to my growth as a gallerist since the starting the gallery! However I can certainly see the difference in my shows from when I first started, you only get better as you go along…

The exhibition’s title lends itself to a certain value of sentimentality. Could you elaborate on the creative process in selecting the ‘right’ artists for it?

I’ve chosen artists who have all been inspired by time or the passing of time in some way, whether its Nina Fowler’s depictions of Hollywood’s golden glamour years, Butch Anthony reclamation and reapropriation of found objects or Jean – Luc’s portraits of known historical figures. I’ve deliberately chosen these artists because of their idiosyncratic ways of looking at time. In terms of the creative process, I had a few of the artists in mind when I was coming up with the concept for the show and it evolved organically after that.

You also have and extensive calibre of artists involved, from sculpture to painting, as a curator, what is the biggest challenge in working with such a diverse roster?

Easily the hanging! Even if it is the most enjoyable part of the process, I always have a plan of how everything is going to hang together, you can never be sure until you see it on the wall, quite often I end up changing the whole plan and rehanging all the artworks! The most important factor is to ensure that the pieces are presented to their optimal best.

3a

Among those exhibiting is artist Butch Anthony, renown for his D.I.Y aesthetic. Tell me a little about Butch’s contribution to this exhibition.

We have some fantastic pieces that are going into the show from Butch, he is like no other artist I have ever worked with, his concept and aesthetic is so unique and I love his process of creation.

He is constantly searching for and picking up found objects: cow bones are turned into chandeliers; old locks are welded into large bowls. Interesting natural forms, oddities, and collections of found objects complement Anthony’s paintings, which are typically painted white skeletons or other line figures superimposed over found images

He has even invented his own ism: “Intertwangalism” works a label he paints on a lot of his pieces, which he defined this way: “Inter, meaning to mix,” he said. “And twang, a distinct way of speaking. If I make up my own ‘ism,’ no one can say anything or tell me I’m doing it wrong.” I think Butch represents something specifically authentic in a really special Southern way; the work is old world at the same time as feeling contemporary. He’s part artist, part anthropologist, part restorer, very indefinable and very unique!

As an avid observer of the market, it’s hard to ignore the over saturation and competitiveness at state, especially in East London. How does Leontia gallery stand apart from other galleries?

As a pop-up gallery I think there is always more of a sense of urgency to see the show, people need to see the work before it’s gone, I also believe that the Gallery has a very distinct roster of artists that my collectors expect, there is a “dark” quality to the artists I represent hat helps the Gallery stand out in the market.

How do you strike a balance between giving emerging and established artists an equal amount of exposure and time in front of potential buyers?

I am quite lucky in the respect that most of my collectors are drawn to works they love and not by investment so I get to give them what they love, whether its an artist just out of art school or an artist who has shown at Tate.

I would also mention that all of the artists I work with have seen regular increases in the value of their work, so I would hope that one day all of my emerging artists are amongst the highest ranking.

nina fowler

Do you have a personal philosophy on how art should be displayed?

Buy what you love and fill your house with it! Not a real philosophy, but to enjoy the art to its maximum you need to find the right space for it.  I also change the arrangement of my pieces regularly at home, so I get to enjoy them in different contexts, and see things in them that I might not have before.

Do you have a personal philosophy on how art should be displayed?

Buy what you love and fill your house with it! Not a real philosophy, bt to enjoy the art to its maximum you need to find the right space for it.  I also change the arrangement of my pieces regularly at home, so I get to enjoy them in different contexts, and see things in them that I might not have before.

“There and Now” runs from 29th October until 10th November at Blackall Studios, 73 Leonard Street, Hoxton. 

http://www.leontiagallery.com

Luciana Garbarni (@LucPierra)