Flowers Gallery is pleased to present the work of three artists whose work is significantly influenced by architectural forms and elements within their chosen mediums. From the disorienting perspectives of three-dimensional relief paintings to monumental renderings of building facades around the world, these artists bring to light the intersection of art and architecture.
For 40 years, British artist David Hepher has focused his singular vision on the domestic high-rises of South London, through which he has channeled the diverse currents that have swept the international world of contemporary art. Finding his subject in the expansive social housing estates built throughout the 1960s and 70s, Hepher has captured the formal beauty of their grid-like structures as well as the physical and emotional traces of their inhabitants.
In paintings of the 2000’s the austere realist style of Hepher’s early work was replaced by an increased engagement with the physical nature of the subject matter, and appropriation of architectural elements such as concrete and spray paint within his mixed media paintings. Works have been prepared with a brutal shuttered concrete ground, which replicates the builder’s application of textured facades, and pushes the paintings to the brink of abstraction. The surface is overlaid with the spray can scrawls and slogans of found graffiti, alongside Hepher’s own marks and art historical motifs, softening the hard-edged geometric structures with the feathered curves of gestural expression.
Patrick Hughes made his first three-dimensional relief painting in 1964 - his intention to do the opposite of what was done. Over fifty years on, he is still doing so. Hughes’ painted reliefs constantly baffle his audience, demonstrating how deceptive appearances can be. As we walk towards the seemingly flat paintings they loom out at us, creating a disorientating, ‘moving’ experience. Architectural elements like windows and doors, walls and frames, all act as thresholds between interior and exterior space within confounding surrealistic visions that engage the viewer’s body, eyes, and mind.
Historic architecture has played in an increasingly significant role in Hughes work, as well as the way his work engages with that of earlier masters. The city of Venice is a frequent subject of Hughes’ dazzling constructions, as prime examples of the way the artist reconfigures class Renaissance landscapes and perspectives.
Michael Wolf’s large scale works examine the architecture of the city by leaving convention to one side. Wolf focuses on repetition of pattern and form to cause a visual reaction. The result is a sense of rediscovery, as Wolf frees you of the constraints of a typical photograph.
Densely populated and restricted by land mass, the city of Hong Kong has propelled itself upwards to contend with the lack of lateral space. Home to more sky scrapers over 150m than any other city in the world, the air is populated with a forest of high rises. Michael Wolf has been consumed by the social and architectural fabric of Hong Kong since he moved there in 1994 and witnessed its rapid expansion, sustaining an interest in the visual elements of the city and using his photographs to explore its socio-cultural phenomena.