© Carolina Raquel Antich

Audition, 2006
acrylic on canvas, 27 1/2 x 35 1/2 in / 70 x 90 cm

Carolina Raquel Antich

Gimpel Fils is pleased to present Caroline Raquel Antich's first solo exhibition in London. Based in Italy, Antich has received international acclaim for her unsettling paintings of children at play.

Caroline Raquel Antich's canvasses depicting little girls and boys have a 1950s quality about them. They are reminiscent of the wholesome children carrying out wholesome activities depicted in Ladybird books. Boys with bowl haircuts wearing shorts and sensible shoes; Girls in prim school uniforms lined in rows just like Madeline. But unlike the ultimately comforting endings to Madeline's adventures, Antich captures the unhappiness and loneliness that so frequently characterizes real childhood life. Like fragmentary snapshots without the contextualising narratives these works leave us wondering about the truth of our childhood days. Were they really filled with endless summers, or rather, were they endless rainy days, when solitary silence and stillness stretched an afternoon into an eternity?

A painting of a child looking cautiously and suspiciously to the side through veiled eyes into empty space captures the tension between innocence and the bullying brutality that children can exhibit. Using a limited pallet and paring down her paintings, presenting her subjects against a blank background, Antich has been able to create a body of work in which nothing really happens. Simultaneously though, she has captured a foreboding sense that something dangerous is happening just beyond the limits of the canvas.

Some commentators have suggested that Caroline Raquel Antich's work is a comment on the loss of childhood innocence in contemporary life. At a moment when children are encouraged to grow up faster and become sexually active sooner, Antich's pre pubescent children at play take on eerie attributes in their distance, and even removal, from the modern world.

Born in Rosario, Argentina, Caroline Raquel Antich lives and works in Venice. She has exhibited internationally and was included in the Italian Youth Art Prize exhibition at the 2005 Venice Biennale. This is her first exhibition in the UK.

Exhibition: 21 June - 22 July 2006
Gallery hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 5.30 pm, Sat 11 am - 4 pm

Gimpel Fils
30 Davies Street
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