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

John Latham Untitled 1964-1965 Spray paint on canvas 117 x 130 x 5 cm © The John Latham Foundation; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery Photography: Ken Adlard
John Latham Canvas Event 1994-95 acrylic on canvas 122 x 91.2 cm © The John Latham Foundation; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery Photography: Ken Adlard
John Latham Two Noit. One Second Drawing 1970-71 Board mounted on conti board, paint 61.2 x 61.2 x 2.5 cm © The John Latham Foundation; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery Photography: Ken Adlard
John Latham Sleep 1955 Emulsion and spray paint on board 91 x 122 cm © John Latham Foundation; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery
John Latham Untitled 1965 Paint on white duck 232 x 133 cm © The John Latham Foundation; Courtesy of Lisson Gallery Photography: Ken Adlard
Spencer Finch Still Life (Tulips) afternoon effect 2016 Watercolour on paper 43 x 56 cm (each) © Spencer Finch. Courtesy of Lisson Gallery
Spencer Finch Still Life (Tulips) morning effect 2016 Watercolour on paper 43 x 56 cm (each) © Spencer Finch. Courtesy of Lisson Gallery
Spencer Finch Sunflower (Bee’s View) 2016 Pastel and pencil on paper 76x 76 cm © Spencer Finch. Courtesy of Lisson Gallery
Don't miss out.
Get the latest from Elephant straight to your inbox and 10% off your first purchase.
Sign me up!
You can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link