RYAN LEE is pleased to announce House and Garden: The Abstract in the Everyday, a solo exhibition featuring ten new large-scale paintings by British artist Tim Braden of interior and exterior paintings that depart from old interiors and design magazines or the artist’s observations in situ. His own personal connection to this subject matter leans on the familiar role of the garden as a part of his English upbringing but also considers a studied look at the ordinary. This body of works takes the age-old subject of house and garden, explored by many artists generations before, and provides a new way of examining this subject by pairing both figurative depictions of actual spaces with related abstract compositions that evoke the mood and atmosphere, which cannot be defined with just imagery.
In the painting titled “House and Garden,” Braden has pared down characteristic elements of the setting— periphery fences, flowing ponds, stone walkways, intimate architecture— which gives a familiarity without the specificity of a place. Hanging beside it is “Jardines,” an abstract painting made using watercolor and acrylic through a staining method that references similar forms and palette from “House and Garden.” Alone, it reads completely abstract. However, as a pairing, they create a dialogue between the representational and the abstract, and convey a deeper understanding of this place. “House and Garden,” particularly in this exhibition, is the key to the abstract compositions that it surrounds, grounding its interpretation in this specific context. Even without this legend, however, the abstract paintings elude to nature and structures of the artist’s intended subject.
Braden’s practice holds at its core a deep exploration at looking and what that means. He recently has combined shifting between image-making and abstraction, a constant back and forth, to have a better understanding of his observation. He creates abstract and figurative paintings in tandem to explore how one operates within the other or together, across a body of work. This juxtaposition considers how the two relate to each other, harnessed by Braden’s vocabulary of spatially and chromatically balanced forms. Furthermore, he experiments with different types of paint, support, and application to understand the nuances of paintings and how subtle shifts can change space, mood, and tone. His work is drawn from a close reading of his environment and an attempt to depict the act of looking at things, thus he is constantly looking and re-evaluating his own work in progress to align these observations.
Tim Braden (b. 1975, Perth, UK) received his MA from Ruskin School of Fine Art at Oxford University and attended Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. He has exhibited widely, including at Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow; Gemeente Museum, The Hague; Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam; and Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. He completed site-specific projects in Iceland (2006) and for New York’s Goethe Institute (2009). His work is included in several
public collections, among them the Ashmolean Museum, UK; Nederlandse Bank, Amsterdam; Pembroke College, UK; Walsall Museum and Art Gallery, UK; and Zabludowicz Collection, UK.