Curator’s Column: Thea Gregory on ‘New Mythologies: Figurative Abstraction in Contemporary Painting.’

New Mythologies is an exhibition of seven international contemporary artists;
Stephen Chambers RA, Eileen Cooper RA, John Copeland, Karishma D’Souza,
Emma Fineman, Iris Schomaker and Ella Walker; whose work operates at the
boundary between figuration and abstraction. The exhibition explores the artists
varied approaches to the potential of painterly abstraction, and how this abstraction
can extend and deepen narrative.
Each artist uses their own particular form of mark making – from the
gestural and intuitive to the precise – to explore storytelling, lived
experience and traces of memory. Including established and emerging
artists, the exhibition aims to examines the complexities inherent to image
making and representation and seeks to demonstrate the continued pre-
occupation with these issues in contemporary narrative painting.
The work of Stephen Chambers RA, John Copeland and Emma Fineman
explores painting’s gestural potential and the tensions between surface
materiality and narrative. While Eileen Cooper RA, Iris Schomaker and
Ella Walker are driven by the process of drawing. The surfaces of these
artists’ work testify to their working methods, revealing pencil marks, and
strong, graphic outlines. Contemporary landscape painting is represented
in the exhibition by Goan artist Karishma D’Souza. Bounding abstraction
and representation, D’Souza reconstructs imagined and remembered
scenes to create surreal and abstracted landscape.
The exhibition continues Huxley-Parlour gallery’s ongoing aim of providing
a platform for artists who have had a significant impact on their field of art
history and who continue to push the boundaries of their chosen mediums.
Each artist included in New Mythologies is shaping the way figurative
painting is understood in a contemporary context.



New Mythologies: Figurative Abstraction in Contemporary Painting. 12 April – 4 May 2019
Huxley-Parlour Gallery, 3-5 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4DE

Image: Stephen Chambers, Gravity (with Crawling Child), 2005, Oil on linen59 x 70 3/4 inches© the artist, Courtesy Huxley-Parlour Gallery