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Control to Collapse

Blyth Gallery

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 from 18:00 to 20:30 (GMT)

Control to Collapse

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Private View 2d 16h 6m Free  

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Event Details

“Paint records the most delicate gesture and the most tense… Paint is a cast made of the painter’s movements, a portrait of the painter’s body and thoughts.”   James Elkin, What Painting Is, 1955

The 'gesture' is defined as a movement, usually conveyed by the hand or head, that expresses an idea or meaning. When accompanied with speech, it can articulate, emphasise, create humour or angst. In painting, the gesture has a loaded history. Most commonly associated with the abstract expressionists like Willem De Kooning, Lee Krasner or Joan Mitchell, it held alchemical accord, with the ability to imbue painting with the emotional charges of joy, anger or melancholy directly from the artist’s hand. Now emptied of those grand accreditations, the gesture takes on a more functional role. In an age of image proliferation, the gesture is a unique device or mode of language that is crucial in relaying a painter’s conceptual concerns. 

The artists in
 Control to Collapse feel, interpret and respond to the viscosity of pigment and the absorbency of surface to find painterly gestures that take an active role in conveying meaning. Through this tactile connection with their materials, these artists draw on bodily intellect and let muscular memory guide the application of paint. They are acutely conscious of the gestural act as a device for communication and find movements and motions that allow ideas to be soaked into the surface of their work.

This exhibition navigates a variety of gestural acts, from an intricate slicing that causes oils to take on the healing qualities of flesh; to broad swathes of paint that engulf the gallery and interrogate the psychological qualities of the spaces we inhabit; or rapid washes of thinned oils that create aqueous scenes of transparent and luscious landscapes of vegetation to address politically charged themes of excessive water consumption. It explores the gesture’s role in communicating the wider concepts explored in the featured artists’ respective practices.


Niamh White

Exhibition Dates: 22 November 2017 - 3 January 2018

Private View: 21 November 6-8:30pm

Gallery is open Monday - Sunday 9am-9pm (there will be some Christmas closures)

Do you have questions about Control to Collapse? Contact Blyth Gallery

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When & Where

Blyth Gallery
Sherfield Building, Imperial College
South Kensington Campus, Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
United Kingdom

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 from 18:00 to 20:30 (GMT)

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