SPRING Group Show
“I shall never have the garden I have in my mind, but that for me is the joy of it; certain things can never be realized and so all the more reason to attempt them.”
– Jamaica Kincaid, My Garden
Peres Projects is pleased to present SPRING, which will pay tribute to the eponymous season and center themes of renewal and optimism. For this debut exhibition at our Seoul location, we celebrate seven artists that continue to provide inspiration for us. In addressing this simple, elemental theme, Richard Kennedy, Rebecca Ackroyd, Rafa Silvares, Shota Nakamura, George Rouy, Donna Huanca and Paolo Salvador unpack notions of renewal, joy, and being inspired by and connected with the natural world. The works on view explore how Spring figures in our popular imagination as a symbol for rebirth and growth, movement and change.
From the building of our new gallery space, the cherry blossoms that line the street outside can be seen. Their delicate petals and soft pink color resemble Rebecca Ackroyd’s painting Time piece (2020). Her warped clock gestures to alternative temporal experiences. The color and folds suggest a softness that is associated with femininity and ephemerality, the numbers float in varying sizes and degrees from the center of the flower, indicating multiple dimensions and a feminist temporality.
Donna Huanca’s work also addresses time passing. In her new painting, the vibrant and warm colour palette builds on the themes within her practice that deal with the natural world. Fire is the main focus of this work, which is part of a series that explores each of the five elements: fire, water, earth and wind. Fire is fierce and can ravage a landscape, but also provides fertile ground for new foliage to grow. These elements are part of earthly cycles of renewal and decay – the natural world keeping time.
Renewal is a quality that expresses something that was already within us. The gestural brushstrokes that blur and distort the figure in Standing in Half (2022) conveys an experience of seeing ourselves in a new light. The movement in the work charges the painting with energy – George Rouy depicts the self in transition, and the capacity to inhabit multiple feelings and perspectives at once.
The title of Paolo Salvador’s new painting Quimera (2022)makes reference to a mythological creature made up of three different bodies; with a lion’s head, the body of a goat, and the tail of a dragon, this being symbolizes transformation. The title also references a dream that feels so real that one tries to achieve it – a vision or an omen, and the active pursuit of change.
These works encompass different affective qualities of emergence and transformation – from trepidation to desire, curiosity and elation, assembling a diverse spectrum of human experience.
In Playtime (2022) swirls of color interrupt lines, light bounces off surfaces, and curving shapes appear to cushion each other. Rafa Silvares explores the playful character of painting, juxtaposing different styles and techniques, and inducing synaesthesia with textures that appear soft or cold, evoking different sensorial reactions in the viewer. His work provides a levity and a joy, exploring the capacities of his medium and the surface of the canvas.
Another artist probing the boundaries of the canvas, Richard Kennedy stages interventions in the art world. The artist materializes their performance practice through gestural swipes of acrylic paint, then cuts the canvas into long strips and weaves the pieces back together to capture the same energy – accomplishing a collapse of high and low art, and pushing the boundaries of a historically masculine medium. In Warp & Weft (2022), Kennedy’s signature vibrant palette and rolling textures are deconstructed, pulled apart and then reassembled, in their own terms – suggesting not only a strategy of remixing but also bringing in folk and craft knowledge practices as well as referencing braiding and weaving Black hair. Both artists look with fresh eyes at the medium and history of painting, intervening in and renewing the practice.
Shota Nakamura’s self-portrait reveals the quiet glory of the natural world. The sky and clouds are represented as thick blobs, threatening to break open with heavy showers that nourish the earth. His subject is both nature and the humans who make their lives within it: he is interested in both the interior and exterior world, the problem of the self and that of the other. The quietness in his work is reminiscent of spring evenings, and the heightened awareness that the season brings to the world around us – the scent of the new blossoms, the birds in the trees, the damp earth beneath our feet.
Full of color, organic shapes and rounded forms, this presentation features paintings by artists from diverse, international backgrounds. These aesthetic works are sites for reflection and joy with the aim to provide moments for gathering, shared experience and regeneration. Nakamura puts it this way: “to paint is to be a kind of gardener — you scatter the seeds, and cultivate the earth.”