Cole is pleased to present Leisure, an exhibition of new works by Stewart Cliff.
Cliff’s monochromatic paintings depict traces of various objects on the verge of abstraction, presenting a particular way of experiencing the world as well as offering a reflection on the practice of painting today. Cliff draws upon a wide range of objects, chosen for their universality and accessibility. Regardless of their inherent value, on the painted surface everything exists on the same plane; the depicted objects are removed from their original context and are abstracted into something both familiar and foreign. Through the dislocation and disconnected subject matter the paintings become fragmented images, resisting any immediate reading or categorization. In doing so the works question notions of perception and how we relate to our own environment.
The title of the show, Leisure, goes some way in defining a particular way of experiencing the world that is in part both indolent and inattentive yet in some way liberating. The works treat a broad range of subjects with equal respect, suggesting a way of looking where by objects are interchangeable with the impetus for the imagery ranging from the ancient and revered to the mass produced. There is no hierarchy within Cliff’s paintings as isolated eras and moments are conflated with an atmospheric potency as the paintings speak of the potential of the medium to engage with a series of dialogues, from the banal to the rarefied.
Stewart Cliff, b.1982, lives and works in London, and studied at the Royal Academy of Art (2008). Recent exhibitions include SCREENING, 203-205 Brompton Road, London (2010), Jerwood Contemporary Painters, Jerwood Space, London (2010), Tag, Brown, London (2010), In Two Minds, Eleven Spitalfields, London (2009), New Contemporaries, Rochelle School, London/ A Foundation, Liverpool (2008)