Danielle Fretwell, Dion Rosina, Ugo Sébastião and Ben Zawalich
2 June - 8 July, 2023
Alice Amati is delighted to announce its inaugural exhibition, Infinite Loop. Bringing together four international artists - Danielle Fretwell, Dion Rosina, Ugo Sébastião, and Ben Zawalich - the show will take place at the gallery’s first premises at 27 Warren Street, Fitzrovia and will open with a private view from 6-8 pm on the 1st of June 2023.
The artists included in Infinite Loop adopt both classical and contemporary imagery and painterly lexicons, creating a dialogue with the past while questioning current modes of image consumption. With a particular focus on processes of appropriation and mediation of images, their paintings push the boundaries of the medium and demand a slow, thoughtful approach to viewing.
Through individual processes, in which images are extracted from their original context, collaged, layered, exposed, and concealed, each artist creates distance between their work and the viewer and a palpable tension within the representation. At a time when we are so accustomed to rapidly consuming images through digital media, these artists encourage a more considerate way of looking by complicating the viewer's understanding of the mechanics of picture-making. Together, the works in the exhibition demonstrate the continuous relevance of painting as a medium through which we can question our past, understand our present, and create possible futures almost as if it were an Infinite Loop.
Danielle Fretwell (b.1996) explores the idea that time in painting can be frozen and transformed into a moment of observation and patience. Traditional still-life paintings, where objects are presented at a 1:1 scale to real-life, are concealed through the use of visual barriers to allow for a slow reveal of their details over time. By blending printmaking techniques to create patterns and drapes with realistic renderings of objects depicted through traditional painting methods, Fretwell complicates the understanding of her process and draws attention to the slowness her medium demands from both the creator and the viewer.
Dion Rosina’s (b.1991) practice is rooted in archival image research, which he translated onto the canvas using traditional painterly techniques. By manipulating and pulling together found visuals from disparate sources, ranging from strange stories, representation of unexplained phenomena, mythologies, and significant figures in history, Rosina explores ways of forging unexpected and surprising new narratives. In his paintings, light and darkness are at play, often accentuating stark contrasts within images or obscuring them to the point where the figures are barely recognisable. Through this process of juxtaposition of clashing imagery, the artist leaves the viewer confronted with an endless sea of possibilities, where each story can take a different turn according to whomever is looking.
Ugo Sébastião's (b.1998) paintings blend post-punk aesthetics with religious iconography, drawing from art historical images filtered through the lens of his computer screen. Using Google Images, he extracts details from "forgotten" classical paintings and reproduces them through various techniques that blend traditional and contemporary painterly approaches. By presenting his newly found historical subjects underneath monochrome and ultra-glossy varnishes, which are in stark contrast with the solemnity and legibility that those subjects would have needed in their original context, he questions the significance and permanence these images have on the present.
Ben Zawalich’s (b. 1984) paintings are the result of a complex process whereby his drawings are transformed into prints, which are then collaged to the canvas and painted over with oils. Through this method of working, Zawalich is able to produce infinite variations of the original image, creating a cohesive visual narrative that takes on mythical qualities. In this way, the artist blends together images that appear at once familiar yet impossible to be situated within a specific time and place. Zawalich's images encourage us to consider the histories that have shaped them and how those remain latent beneath the surface while they continue to exert an influence over what we see.