Marine Contemporary is pleased to present “On the Horizon: New Generation British Painters”, a group exhibition curated by Alexandra Ray and Catherine Loewe. “On the Horizon” showcases three distinctive figurative painters currently living and working in London: Robert Fry, Adam Dix and Hugh Mendes. We are presenting this exhibition in conjunction with Britweek, a celebration of British excellence in California.
Over the last two years in London, Charles Saatchi set out again to show the world what he considered the new generation artists of our time, displayed in his impressive, touring, three part show called “Newspeak: British Art Now”. Not since his “Sensation” show in the late 1980’s, had we seen a new decade of British Contemporary art, boasting some of the most thematically complex and internationally mixed progeny, all generating their take on things since the surge of the YBA’s. Art critic Brian Sewell might argue that the YBA’s left them no useful legacy on which to build - that merely a wave of nostalgia had filled the air, in its sudden determination to hark back to Old Masters - but at large, critics were positive that Saatchi had done it again. He still had the energy to make us sit up and take note of the undeniable rousing talent from this current wave of emerging British artists.
Taking its cue from Saatchi, “On the Horizon” seeks to present three artists from this new generation. Stepping away from the shock factor stunts of the YBA’s, Fry, Dix and Mendes stand out by responding to their art historical heritage, with a more traditional painterly outlook. Leaking an undeniably British quality, their work expands on and re-invents today’s issues, exploring classicism, consumerism and the ever-growing obsession with celebrity.
Adam Dix is interested in how technology communicates to an audience held captive by its power. It is the exaggerated power we give to technological advances of our century that interests Dix, as he displays his subjects in an almost retro sci-fi manner performing rituals of religious-like worship. In fine glazes he builds scenes of group folkloric rituals upholding the modern devices of telecommunication. Families hover around satellite dishes, as if its an after dinner ritual in a cosy Ovaltine commercial.
Dix received his B.A in graphics and Illustration at Middlesex College and then an M.A at Wimbledon College of Art. Over the last 2 years Dix has participated in group shows at the Saatchi Gallery, Summaria Lunn and Haunch of Venison in London. His work is included in several collections, including those of Anita Zabludowicz, Fatima Maleki and Alisdhair Willis. This is his debut exhibition in the States.
Robert Fry’s figurative paintings delve into the psychological, mythical, and anthropomorphic themes of human relationships. In a time where society’s energies are often chaotic and focused outwards, Fry’s paintings look inwards at the more intimate facets of human existence. In intensely private and raw scenarios, Fry focuses on the internal containment of dual or multiple presences and their interplay, in complex perspectives and abstracted layers. Pairing down amorphic shapes, Fry denotes parts of the human body to ironically reduce his subjects to the bare elements.
Robert Fry received a BFA Hons at Oxford Brookes University in 2002. He has had solo shows with Alexia Goethe Gallery, London and Atelier 2 in Moscow. Most notably he was selected for Saatchi’s “Newspeak: British Art Now”. Last year he participated in Kunsthalle @ M+B with Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles and he is currently shortlisted for the John Moores painting prize. Collections include Charles Saatchi, Mario Testino, Museum of Modern Art, Moscow.
Hugh Mendes paints meticulous copies of the obituaries of noted public figures. These are drawn from the recognizable typeface of the U.K. Guardian newspaper and numerous British media sources. It is no coincidence that Mendes late father himself was a news editor and the presence of yellowing piles of newspapers would be forever etched in his childhood memory. His obsession with the business of newspapers is a commentary on the contemporary penchant for nationalistic preoccupation and thirst for the media. Mendes more recent “Obituary” paintings chronicle the timeless subject of Birth and Death. He takes a defining portrait of a public figure and immortalizes it into a memento, a 3 dimensional object, even an icon when rendered in paint.
Hugh Mendes was born in Hostert, Germany. He attended Chelsea School of Art and received his Masters in Painting at City and Guilds of London Art School. Curatorial projects include “Art News” at RAID, Los Angeles, featuring artists using newspapers in their work, including the work of Gillian Wearing and Martin Creed in 2005. He has since shown with Kenny Schachter/ ROVE in 2011 and Charlie Smith, London in February 2012.
BritWeek (a non-profit organization) operates with cooperation from US and UK government entities, leading businesses and local organizations of all sizes to educate the general public about the contributions of the British to California in particular and the United States in general, and to do other and various good (public) works.
About Marine Contemporary
Established in 2011 by Claressinka Anderson, Marine Contemporary focuses on vital, concept-led contemporary work in all media. The gallery has a particular focus on emerging and mid-career artists from the U.S and the U.K.
Marine Contemporary is an expansion of Marine Art Salon, which was established in 2009 and continues its salon program along side Marine Contemporary, focusing on collection-based shows in the domestic setting.
We are open Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-6pm and by appointment. Parking is available on premises.