The Dot Project is pleased to present its new group show featuring the work of six international artists, curated by India Whalley and Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, founder of Arteviste. The artists and curators will all be dressed by Levi’s Jeans for the private view, which will also feature a reading by actress and poet Alice Erskine.
Titled Love in a Cold Climate, the exhibition is inspired by Nancy Mitford’s novel and knits together abstraction and figuration, manifesting tensions between surface and space, the concrete and the sublime – addressing the physicality of the human body in stark reference to the psychology of its experience. The six artists, applying painting, drawing and collage as their chosen methodology, present radically different notions of how the fluidity of the paint and the immediacy of form can be adapted and deployed to satisfy both the high conceptual approach to art making as well as revisiting unfinished projects of late-Modernism and Minimalism. The literary title brackets the work of these six artists within a narrative arc; it lays out the Romantic prospect of painting in the context of the post-medium condition. Painting in Love in a Cold Climate wears its heart on its sleeve. Paint presses up against reality: surface and texture evince its conceptual intent, but never stray far from the human hand that created it. Inexorably bound to the head and the heart, painting is given a lease of life through the artists present in this exhibition; movements of the body become tangible and timeless; paint emulates skin, ageing and fading; experience and thought is manifest in abstraction.
Love in a Cold Climate includes works by contemporary artists Scarlett Bowman, Milla Eastwood, Sang Woo Kim, Romana Londi, Jack Penny and Maximilian Magnus. Each artist brings unique identities and processes to a group show that positions correlative practices alongside contrasting concepts and methods.
Maximilian Magnus’ bold, painterly canvases that echo American abstract expressionism, as well as the work of neo- expressionist painter Albert Oehlen, stand in stark rebuttal to the painting of Milla Eastwood and the collaged works of Scarlett Bowman, whose work recalls the aesthetics of minimalism and the British abstract art of the mid-20th Century, such as Ben Nicholson and Victor Pasmore. Romana Londi’s technologically adept approach to painting that deploys photosensitive pigments give the canvas a self-conscious life – beautifully aware of its surroundings, blushing with colour as harsh light finds its surface; a conceptual approach which aligns with Sang Woo Kim’s creative impetus that is rooted in a dislocated, discolored sense of self. In addition to Jack Penny’s practice that relies on the self through unconscious intuition, but remains tethered historically to representations of the figure in nature that are present in Post-Impressionism and Primitivism.
The playful curatorial choice to present aesthetically disparate practices creates disquiet across the exhibition, engaging with contemporary art practice that utilises unique visual themes, technical processes and art historical motifs as independent artworks. As a body of work, together they embody the concerns of artists today, united within two- dimensional medium’s relationship to the body and the psyche.