The works of American artist Spencer Finch and the late Zambia-born, British artist John Latham are currently showing in simultaneous solo exhibitions at Lisson Gallery’s two London spaces. Although created over a broad time-period, the marks of both artists on paper, board and canvas have many common threads.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Latham’s body of spray-painted works are the sole focus of Spray Paintings. First working with a spray gun in 1954, the artist felt this way of working allowed a meeting of art with science, and a well-needed breaking down of the many conventions of painting that he found his contemporaries battling with.
‘It destroys the picture plane in a legitimate way where contemporaries were at such pains to establish that plane,’ he expressed at a later date. ‘It is both abstract and referential in “image”.’ The gentle colour palette afforded by this way of working, as well as the various patterns and dots that emerge from using a spray gun, draw enjoyable parallels with Finch’s work.
Spencer Finch is shown here in his third solo exhibition with Lisson Gallery, The Opposite of Blindness. The artist’s pencil and watercolour works on paper explore ‘the edge of perception’, various dots and marks creating an illusory experience in some cases—dots appearing to spin and twirl before the eye, especially in Sunflower (Bee’s View), 2016—while other works explore the various views one can take of the same thing.
The four Still Life (Tulips) works depict 7 simple tulip shapes, affected by the light of morning, afternoon, evening and noon. The sense of same-but-different is a subtle one, which suggests at a whole world of possibility where perception is concerned. The opposite of blindness here is not found in exuberant visuals, but purely in seeing.
‘Spray Paintings’ and ‘The Opposite of Blindness’ are showing at Lisson Gallery, London until 7 May 2016