6.02 - 30.08.2020

Radical Figures

Painting in the New Millennium
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Overview

Since painting was pronounced dead in the 1980s, a new generation of artists has been revitalising the expressive potential of figuration. Charging their vibrant canvases with a social and political undertow, they echo the words of Philip Guston: ‘I got sick and tired of all that Purity. I wanted to tell stories’. Artists critique from within or expand on the styles and subjects of canonical male painters. In Christina Quarles’s canvases, groups of polymorphous nudes are intimately entwined, merging with graphically patterned surfaces. Tschabalala Self pieces together paint, fabric and print for a cast of characters inspired by the streets of Harlem. Exuberant and explicit, each artist revels in the expressive potential of paint. Tala Madani’s primal fantasies of abject men and children shift from comedy to debasement, from paint to shit.

Since painting was pronounced dead in the 1980s, a new generation of artists has been revitalising the expressive potential of figuration. Charging their vibrant canvases with a social and political undertow, they echo the words of Philip Guston: ‘I got sick and tired of all that Purity. I wanted to tell stories’.

Artists  critique from within or expand on the styles and subjects of canonical male painters. In Christina Quarles’s canvases, groups of polymorphous nudes are intimately entwined, merging with graphically patterned surfaces. Tschabalala Self pieces together paint, fabric and print for a cast of characters inspired by the streets of Harlem. Exuberant and explicit, each artist revels in the expressive potential of paint.

Tala Madani’s primal fantasies of abject men and children shift from comedy to debasement, from paint to shit. 

Whitechapel Gallery

77-82 Whitechapel High St,  London, E1 7QX

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