I just made it to the Contemporary British Abstraction – Group show on the last day of its opening. I drove there via Bromley on Saturday morning to St Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive School in Eltham. There is plenty of parking outside and the Gallery is just on the right of the school main reception. I have only visited Eltham once before to see Eltham Palace and Bromley was also a first. The gallery space is still really fresh, having recently opened in Nov 2014 and have what seems to be a continuous programme of events, such as exhibitions and residencies.
David Ainley, Ralph Anderson, Chris Baker, Dominic Beattie, Andrew Bick, Katrina Blannin, Claudia Boese, Julian Brown, EC, Ben Cove, Clem Crosby, Pen Dalton, Lisa Denyer, Andrew Graves, Terry Greene, Susan Gunn, Alexis Harding, Sue Kennington, Sarah R Key, Phoebe Mitchell, Matthew Macaulay, Ellie MacGarry, Katrin Mäurich, Sarah McNulty, Mali Morris, Andrew Parkinson, Aimee Parrott, Marion Piper, Clare Price, Geoffrey Rigden, Gwennan Thomas, Trevor Sutton, David Webb, Mary Webb, Gary Wragg,
SE9’s blurb about the exhibition from their website.
‘Contemporary British Abstraction’ is a group show including thirty-five artists all working in the United Kingdom. Selected by artists Matthew Macaulay and Terry Greene, this exhibition has been brought together to highlight how active and vibrant abstraction is today with multiple lines of enquiry being opened and explored.
New contemporary artists move in and out of abstraction easily, unlike the mid-20th century artists who were forced to take sides between abstraction and representation. The new generation of artists seem increasingly motivated to create work that sustains and creates new dialogue over the non-representational.
The show brings together artists who have been creating abstract work in the United Kingdom over the last two years. This exhibition includes many important works that have been created by painters with different levels of experience ranging from those who are new to the medium to those who are well-seasoned lifers. The exhibition moves radically between innovative use of geometry, intuition, hard-edge and the painterly.
This exhibition is only a glimpse of the current abstract scene and the range of painters who are working in the United Kingdom at this point in time. By hanging these painters it will be interesting to see the structure that holds their difference together and whether it offers the viewer a coherent offering.’
Another favourite of mine, was this painting by Phoebe Mitchell. I am not sure exactly why I liked it. Perhaps the delicacy of the lilac and the sense of air and light captured my attention.
A favourite of Jon’s was this one on the left, by Sarah McNaulty.
The exhibition was really interesting with a very diverse range of approaches, although a lot of the work was a similar size. In a way this was good, as more could be hung on the walls. The space itself is bright and feels spacious, but there is not a great distance to view the work. Large scale abstracts would not have worked well at all. Small and intimate artworks definitely suit the space more. I really enjoyed visiting the gallery and will be going to the next exhibition which also looks very exciting too.
Natalie Ryde- ‘The Way’
Saturday the 18th of April – Saturday 30th May 2015