Sarah Dobai: Mosquito, from Three Payers of a Summer Game 2004
c-type photograph, 44 1/2 x 35 1/2 in, 113 x 90 cm
Innocence and Experience
Carolina Raquel Antich, Corinne Day, Sarah Dobai, Jenny Watson
Gimpel Fils is pleased to present an exhibition exploring the tensions and transitions that occur as we move from child to adulthood. This exhibition brings together two painters and two photographers who depict the worlds of young girls and women in order to provoke different emotions and anxieties. Significantly, each artists has a different approach to their artistic practice: Antich uses the world of childhood imagination; Day's imagery document's the lives of her friends; Dobai's delicately composed photographs are reminiscent of films where significant acts happen just out of shot; while Jenny Watson uses her own life and interests as a source for inspiration. What links these artists are the ways in which their art create spaces for examining inter-personal relationships and tensions. These spaces are often uneasy and the works in this exhibition show uncanny moments: lives that are fraying at the edges.
Carolina Raquel Antich's work comments on the loss of childhood innocence in contemporary life. Antich's canvasses depicting little girls combine fantasy and reality; the Minister's daughter becomes for a moment an Arabian princess, while the family portrait captures the unhappiness and loneliness that so frequently characterizes real childhood life. 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.
Corinne Day does not compromise in her approach to photography. Day has always challenged preconceived notions of beauty and works from her Diary series included in this exhibition illustrate the harsh reality of having to survive on little money in dingy flats, whilst trying to raise a family. Images of Corinne's best friend Tara document her life story from a teenager to young mother with a tenderness that does not shy away from truth. Corinne Day's work can currently be seen at the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition: "The Face of Fashion".
Exploring the inherent qualities of the human subject, the tensions of psychological dramas are expressed in Sarah Dobai's photographs, so that alienation becomes a central theme. A couple lie curled up together, but while the man sleeps, the woman gazes away from him, her pained expression suggesting more than distance. Avoiding any direct narrative, Dobai's images are suspended in time and located in non-specific places so that confusion and anxiety pervades. Last year Dobai had a major solo exhibition at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, which coincided with the end of her two-year residency at London's Delfina Studio Trust. She is currently working on a 16mm film as a result of being given a Film London LAFVA Award in 2006.
Taking her Australian suburban childhood as the main point of departure for her artwork, Jenny Watson's paintings examine the complex desires and realities of everyday living. Combining objects and texts, her work contrasts family dramas and childhood daydreams with place names, lists of food and overheard comments. The use of domestic fabrics and china figures seem to represent a nostalgic and comforting past, but her texts and painted imagery project a dark sense of humour and a knowingness that belies Watson's apparent naivety. Jenny Watson studied at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School, Melbourne and has consistently exhibited both in Australia and internationally. She represented Australia at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993.
Exhibition: 4 April - 12 May 2007
Gallery hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 5.30 pm, Sat 11 am - 4 pm
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