PAUL BENNEY AND SIMON EDMONDSON BEHIND THE SILENCE at SERENA MORTON 4 – 27 November 2015
Gallerist, Serena Morton, has brought together two figurative painters with distinguished track records for her forthcoming November exhibition. Paul Benney and Simon Edmondson both believe in the power of old masterly painting techniques, but turn to more modern subjects suggested by dreams and the imagination, though they are not always easy to pin down.
In his introduction to the catalogue, film historian, Mark le Fanu, points out that both have been influenced by the post- apocalyptic visions of cult filmmaker, Andrei Tarkovsky. In Benney’s Auto-da-fé, an array of electrostatic charges leap off the water’s surface, ‘recalling the haunting shafts of artificial lights illuminating the sky in the river-crossing scene under enemy fire in Ivan’s Childhood. Similarly, the massed collection of paper debris that is piled up against the staircase in Edmundson’s blue and sepia oil sketch, Pasamanos, is reminiscent of the dream sequence in Tarkovsky’s final film, The Sacrifice, where - in the midst of some imagined future disaster - scatterings of litter float from the sky.’
With Tarkovsky, they also share a fondness for roofless ruins, temples without a God, in which a certain peace and beauty can be found, says le Fanu. But, he adds, ‘the sinister and the demonic have their place in these paintings too. So there are dreams and there are nightmares…both have a call on us.’
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Serena Morton, 343 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 6HA