Alexis M Teplin: Sss T !! at the Hayward Gallery Project Space

By Charlie Stockton | 28 January 2013

Exhibition preview: Sss T !!, Hayward Gallery Project Space, London, until March 10 2013

A photo of various abstract colours brushed across a large upright canvas
Alexis M Teplin, sss (2012). Oil on linen and French metis, Salome prints by Aubrey Beardsley© Alexis M Teplin, courtesy Mary Mary, Glasgow; Gavlak, Palm Beach. Photo: Noah Sherwood
The Hayward will be ablaze with colour this spring as American artist Alexis M Teplin draws on the decadence of Oscar Wilde’s Salome and Wassily Kandinsky’s concept of “visual music” to create a brand new body of work.

A photo of lots of strong earthy pastel colours daubed across an upright canvas
Alexis M Teplin, Untitled (2012). Oil on linen© Alexis M Teplin, courtesy Mary Mary, Glasgow; Gavlak, Palm Beach
Reminiscent of the dawn of 20th century abstraction, Teplin says her paintings and sculptures “try to negotiate the relationship between rhythm, colour and movement.” Each canvas exploring the seductiveness of form as well as lyrical colour.

Taken together, the paintings create the “sound-word” sss T !! , from which the exhibition takes its title.

Drawn in by the Freudian nature of both Wilde’s work and the innovative sounds of Richard Strauss’s opera of the same name, Teplin looks at the interactions between culture, aesthetics and decadence.

Sight is blended with sound and sculpture with space as the artist uses plaster body parts like protagonists in a play, positioning them around the stage as she mixes the abstract and the figurative.

The original illustrations to Wilde’s Salome, the work of Aubrey Beardsley, have been re-appropriated by the Californian, who demonstrates how the taboo of yesterday can become the high art of today and, perhaps, the popular culture of tomorrow.

  • Open 10am-6pm (closed Monday). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @haywardgallery.
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