Exhibition Preview: New Possibilities: Abstract Painting from the Seventies, The Piper Gallery, London, until December 21 2012
© Courtesy Desmond Rayner / The Piper Gallery
Taking the lack of attention afforded to abstraction during the rise of conceptual and performance art as a starting point, this 14-artist show is an eclectic one.
All of the artists were born between 1922 and 1950, and they’re all still working today. But rather than attempt a comprehensive survey, curators Megan Piper and Sandra Higgins have instead focused on uniting rarely seen works, from “painterly” painting and Op art to “maximalism” and works involving aspects of geometry.
Understatement, it seems, is not on the cards here. Desmond Rayner, for one, bemoans “far too many shades of grey” around us, preferring “colour for its own sake” and “juggling with space”.
Frank Bowling is intrigued by the structure of paint, pouring directly onto the canvas in order to observe the flow of the acrylic. And Alice Sielle’s paintings suggest “futuristic architecture or theatre sets”.
There are also three artists who featured prominently in Artscribe magazine during the decade, including William Henderson, who takes inspiration from Dubuffet, Braque, Picasso and their fellow classic modernists.
- The Piper Gallery, Newman Street, London. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm. Follow the gallery on Twitter @thepipergallery.
© Courtesy Albert Irvin / Gimpel Fils
© Courtesy Trevor Sutton / The Piper Gallery
© Courtesy Bill Henderson / The Piper Gallery
© Courtesy Gary Wragg / The Piper Gallery