CHARLIE SMITH LONDON is delighted to present Gavin Tremlett’s much anticipated second solo exhibition at the gallery.
In this exhibition Tremlett has created a group of oil, graphite & charcoal pieces on canvas or paper. Leading on from his earlier series ‘Amusement’ and ‘Practice’, Tremlett continues to use the portrait in order to investigate deeper lying drives. He marries impeccable figuration with material abstraction, therefore combining intention and chance to create form that simultaneously appears from and recedes into the picture plane. It is clear that Tremlett is operating beyond portraiture and deploys his subjects to challenge his audience. As the artist states:
“My paintings address eroticism, sexuality and transgression. They also call into question ideals of beauty and the politics of identity. These powerful themes wrestle with the medium itself – the compelling nature of the subject matter fighting against the sensitivity and gentleness of touch employed in the brush handling and mark making.”
Tremlett’s choice of source material - from classical sculpture to pornography - emphasizes the power of the gaze and augments a disruption of expectation. His subjects might be questioning, stern, melancholy, haunting or impish. We are invited to attend to them, but the point might just be that we are the ones being watched as the artist toys with the practice of looking and its inherent anticipations. By engaging a number of internal contrasts Tremlett imposes a state of uncertainty and ambiguity that transfers from subject to viewer, forcing a confrontation with our notions of concealment and disclosure.