Black Paintings

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If hell freezes over, 2015 Acrylic On Untreated Cotton 100 X 80 Cm © Courtesy of the Artist and CHARLIE SMITH london
Black Paintings
Curated by: Zavier Ellis

336 Old Street
EC1V 9DR London
October 9th, 2015 - November 14th, 2015

Other (outside main areas)
020 7739 4055
Wed-Sat 11-6 or by appointment


CHARLIE SMITH LONDON is pleased to present Black Paintings.

The project is a combination of three notions. Firstly, it is a curatorial response to the work of contemporary artists that gallery director Zavier Ellis has worked with, and has seen, throughout the years. Notably, there are many significant young painters who choose to paint with a restricted palette, or indeed only black, such as Florian Heinke and Luke Jackson. Others have investigated the black monochrome within their broader practice such as Ian Davenport and Zebedee Jones.

Secondly, the exhibition seeks to illustrate an inherent urge that many painters have: to master the black painting. On one hand it can be a liberation to eradicate choice, and on the other hand it is a test to limit the tools at one’s disposal. In combination, it is a seductive challenge to attempt to diffuse one’s intentions into a singular, albeit highly complex tone.

Finally, the exhibition will act as a response to fundamental moments throughout the history of art. From Goya to Malevich to Reinhardt and Rauschenberg, significant artists have continued to investigate the insistence and resonance of the black painting, and inevitably the artists in this exhibition will convey reference points, whether intentional or not, to that historical visual culture.

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