Cadogan Contemporary is delighted to present the new exhibition by Elise Ansel,‘Amber and Ebony’. The show opens with a Private View on Tuesday, October 17 from 6.00pm until 8.00pm, and remains on view until Saturday, November 4. Since her last solo exhibition at Cadogan Contempo- rary in 2015, has continued her practice examining and re-interpreting Old Master paintings to increasing critical success.
Through the lens of gestural abstraction, Ansel allows the visual elements to almost eclipse the representational content of the paintings yet some narrative remains at the surface. It is through this balance of the visual with the literary, Ansel is creating contemporary renditions of historical paintings.
Amber and Ebony features the debut of an eponymous series of limited palette monochrome paintings, as well as an introduction of black and white photography as a source. Coinciding with a new exhibition at the National Gallery ‘Monochrome’, Ansel uses these paintings as a step further along the chain of transcription.
Ansel frequently returns to the same source paintings. Speaking of the poem Ithaka by Constantin Cavafy she describes it as a “roadmap for artists. Like the Old Master paintings I work from, it’s meanings continue to unfold, over time, with each reading.” Consistently viewing the same work, Ansel establishes a familiarity and personal interaction with the Old Masters ensuring the connection remains below her vigorous brushwork. Ansel says of the new exhibition, “The amber and ebony, the old gold, are the rewards of a sustained practice, multiple viewings, and an accretion of transcriptions of the same source, over time.”
Author Stephanie Buhmann discuss in the catalogue forward Ansel’s engagement with colour, method and structure. Simultaneously, Buhmann is conscious not to shy away from the more challenging and confrontational aspects of the “inherent undercurrent of sexism” found in the canon of Western art history. Buhmann writes, “Offering a personalized take on the matter. Ansel uses gestural abstraction to interrupt a one-sided and sometimes disturbing linear narrative. Focused on the fact that both art history and much of contemporary visual communication are presented from a male point of view that understands itself as uniquely objective and as the only one acceptable, Ansel calls for an active participation and engagement with visual culture.”
Elise Ansel was born and raised in New York City. She received her B.A at Brown University and M.F.A from the Southern Methodist University. Since 2011, Ansel has been represented by Cadogan Contemporary. Amber and Ebony marks her third solo show at the gallery in London. Earlier in 2017, Ansel had a major solo show in her native New York at Danese/Corey gallery and has had 10 pieces exhibited at the Museum of Contemporay Art in Krakow’s ‘Art in Art’ exhibition.
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