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Review: The Colour of Abstraction at Grove Square Galleries

Marc Standing, Imagined Realities, 2020, acrylic on canvas, Grove Square Galleries, London, England, UK.

Museums And Exhibitions

Review: The Colour of Abstraction at Grove Square Galleries

The latest exhibition at London’s Grove Square Galleries, The Colour of Abstraction, is a vibrant group presentation of colorful abstract art. Here we meet the work five exciting young international artists which underlines the exhibition’s subtitle – ‘New Ways of Seeing’. The exhibition gives us an attractive invitation to plunge into an alternate covid-reality. For this is a show tracing a personal path of discovery for each artist. As a result, it is a visual haven we can all share if we’re willing to take the plunge. Whilst the work remains personal in terms of inner explorations, it is the freedom summoned by this journey that encourages us to extend our own sense of liberty.

The Colour of Abstraction: Orlanda Broom, Duopod, 2019, resin on canvas, Grove Square Galleries
The Colour of Abstraction: Orlanda Broom, Duopod, 2019, resin on canvas, Grove Square Galleries, London, England, UK. Artist’s website.

Orlanda Broom

Orlanda Broom conjures transluscent organic forms from free-flowing paint. She abandons standard tools and brushes to direct her pigments into evocative, exotic shapes. As a result, her fluent compositions are both harmonious and conflicted. They sway in a skirmish of arresting tints and graceful encounters. The elegant blots of chance celebrate the bewitching essence of nature. At the same time, the untamed bright shadows allow us to revel in their animated fling. While these images have been created by a physical prescence, they remain wonderfully raw and radiant.

Awakened by Orlanda’s sensuous control, her exuberant creations are enticing eruptions of creative abandon – visionary explosions of liquid life. Duopod (above) is one of a number of her works to be seen at this exhibition. In it, we see a ghostly pair of sinewy blossoms wrestling for rich dominance.

The Colour of Abstraction: Harry Rüdham, 8 Circle, 2020, oil & acrylic on canvas, Grove Square Galleries
The Colour of Abstraction: Harry Rüdham, 8 Circle, 2020, oil & acrylic on canvas, Grove Square Galleries, London, England, UK. Artist’s website.

Harry Rüdham

While studying in Berlin, Harry Rüdham became strongly influenced by Bauhaus colour theories. Even today, he remains enthralled by the possibilities of interactive hues and tones. In the Grove Square exhibition we find his astounding 8 Circle painting. This is a meticulous exploration of cool blue shades presented within an alien landscape of marine shards. Yet, looking closer, within the fragmentary sliver of layers are imperceptible human figures. In fact, they are tiny cut-outs, carefully traced and placed around a lustrous azure of clear sea. We see a diving board poised for those willing to plunge its glistening depths. Yet the water remains untouched. Its icy stillness suggests a blissful serenity that is forever out of reach. However, for the viewer, it offers a tantalising vision of peaceful meditation. We can bathe within its fresh glow if we choose to succumb to a power both spiritual and perplexing.

Harry’s colour experiments have become figurative abstractions. Here, he has created a bright, powerful work pulsing with complex repetition and bracing stillness.

The Colour of Abstraction: Crystal Fischetti, Mystify, 2020, acrylic & oil on canvas, Grove Square Galleries
The Colour of Abstraction: Crystal Fischetti, Mystify, 2020, acrylic & oil on canvas, Grove Square Galleries, London, England, UK. Artist’s website.

Crystal Fischetti

Born in London, Crystal Fischetti is an artist well in-tune with the world. She is proud of her Italian/Columbian heritage. Similarly, her art encourages us also to transcend our boundaries. Her work embraces a common spiritual affinity. She seizes ‘wild experience’ and travel and extends her practice through a mystical global dance. This physical motion can be traced in her work which is often characterised by representations of music. At other times we see immersive tussles with colour and material. In fact, one of her most recent works, Mystify, was provoked by the lure of an ancient anthem coupled with the accompanying siren of death. Shamanic echoes of old magic and forgotten rock stars are resounding textures within this canvas.

Crystal’s art is alive with seductive energy and universal gestures. She channels dynamic, veiled forces into paint for bright new domains to materialize. If you find yourself connecting with her vigorous, emphatic pieces, keep an eye on announcements from Grove Square Galleries. In the near future she is going to have a solo exhibtion and details will be announced soon.

Elena Gual, Abstract IX, 2020, oil on canvas, Grove Square Galleries
The Colour of Abstraction: Elena Gual, Abstract IX, 2020, oil on canvas, Grove Square Galleries, London, England, UK. Artist’s website.

Elena Gual

The phantom portraits of Spanish born artist Elena Gual resemble mirror glimpses of former selves. Traces of gestures signify half-formed effigies. Her unique series of monochrome studies are perhaps the most vulnerable in this collection. They hint at an abstract state of being that occupies the fringes of perception. Additionally, they offer decaying impressions of the self, fading and featureless – devoid of identity. We are encouraged to dwell on a fleeting existence. Thick swabs of oil on canvas are the only concession to physicality.

However, Elena’s empty reflections are not merely an exercise in despair. The radiant Abstract IX vibrates with a will to survive. A distinctive tilt of the head offers a candid demand to cancel any possible denial. These portraits may be considered as capturing a dwindling moment. But the graceful swipe of the brush has caught the essential character. A symbol of presence clearly exists in the artist’s powerful, creative strokes.

Marc Standing, The Beholder of Truths, 2020, acrylic on canvas, Grove Square Galleries,
The Colour of Abstraction: Marc Standing, The Beholder of Truths, 2020, acrylic on canvas, Grove Square Galleries, London, England, UK. Artist’s website.

Marc Standing

They startle us with their unearthly aura. Marc Standing‘s strange apparitions are assembled from the invisible composites all around us. His work is inspired by cell structures and organic biological forms. The resulting surreal fusions are animated microcosms held within a captive frame. Marc’s compositions are complex arrangements of unfamiliar living chunks of matter. They are inhabited by numb pinks of offal or fleshy innards, items we rarely view with comfort. Yet he gives us patterns of vibrant tension participating in a lively sprawl of grim affirmation. His work suggests an abstract reality that undermines the weak underbelly of consciousness. Nonetheless, these beautifully tormented ornaments of ardour are reminders of the living unknown. During these strange days of unarmed exposure to hidden forces, these images are timely indications of our earthly frailty.

Reflection

It is during periods like the current pandemic that we are forced to reflect. This exhibition – The Colour of Abstraction – certainly encourages introspection on a variety of levels. Travel is something all of these artists have in common. From Barcelona, Berlin and Venice Beach to Cape Town, Tuscany and Saint Martins. All have integrated the lessons of place into their work. But external voyages remain difficult at this particularly testing time. Thus it is opportune that Grove Square Galleries give us an opportunity to journey in a different way. Collectively, this contrasting group of artists offers us fresh routes to explore. Abstract art such as this can stir a rousing of spirit and positive energy. For it encourages us to see beyond the physical and to welcome new methods of introspection. In an uncertain world, valuable solutions can often come from within.

More details of The Colour of Abstraction at Grove Square Galleries can be found here. The exhibition runs from 10th December 2020 to 22nd January 2021.


Read more recent exhibition reviews:

A middle aged upstart with a passion for art history – “art can be a force for good if employed at the correct angle!” Likes Surrealism, jazz and socks.

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