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June 16 - July 19FREE
Disquiet is a group show curated by Jason Williams, featuring painting, film, sculpture, print and collage works by artists Jonathan William Pettett, Jeffrey Louis-Reed, Judy Martin, Claude Garanjoud, Sexton Ming, Rebecca Snotflower, Liz Finch, Albert Oehlen, XTX, Romain Perrot and Andy Bolus.
This group exhibition uses the title Disquiet to describe the broad range of unsettling or disruptive affects and experiences associated with making and looking at certain kinds of art. It takes its cue from one example in the painting The Ambassadors (1533) by Hans Holbein the Younger.
When viewed from a tight angle, perhaps in the viewer’s peripheral vision while passing the painting on their left, a stretched, anonymous form at the bottom of the painting suddenly compresses into a startling vision of a skull. This optical illusion has a disquieting effect both before and after it reveals itself, as do other features in the painting such as a broken lute string, evoking tensions and disharmony during the Reformation.
The multiple registers of disquiet which Holbein’s complex painting mobilizes – symbolic, subliminal, subtle, and compelling – are sought again in Jason William’s selection of artworks.
In assembling this exhibition, the curator presents us with a torrent of questions:
Do artists create therapeutically, whether they realize it or not? Is the need to be seen as ‘creative’ and be seen to be ‘contributing’ important?
Is there some other pressure?
What drives someone to want the simple satisfaction of making something?
How does the idea of ‘justifying’ creative activity affect artists?
Even making a mess can ‘kill time’ that some struggle with. Perhaps every artist has some form of disquiet influencing them to create or block some other noise.
This exhibition looks at some of these ideas from a few different perspectives.
16 June – 19 July 2017
Art work featured: Jonathan William Pettett