THE SHAPE OF TIME
Francis Picabia, Konstantinos Argyroglou, Chiara Calore, Martina Cassatella, Silvia Capuzzo, Ted Gahl, Sonia Jia, Becky Kolsrud, Zoe Koke, Yanqing Pei, and Yi To
Curated by Alice Amati
14 July - 8 September, 2023
Lindon &Co, 15 Old Bond Street, W1S4AX London
The exhibition borrows its title from George Kubler’s seminal book, in which the author presents a new reading of art history, one where the notion of style is superseded by the understanding that objects and images exist in a larger continuum. Following the same approach presented in Kubler’s text, the exhibition brings together major historical works by Francis Picabia with ten contemporary artists: Konstantinos Argyroglou, Chiara Calore, Martina Cassatella, Silvia Capuzzo, Ted Gahl, Sonia Jia, Becky Kolsrud, Zoe Koke, Yanqing Pei, and Yi To. All the artists in the show make works that defy strict stylistic approaches and traverse the realms of figuration and abstraction, creating temporally complex representations that appear to be suspended between the past and the present.
Often referred to as an 'artist's artist', Francis Picabia (1879 - 1953) was a visionary who escaped conventional categorization by seamlessly merging classical elements with his own avant-garde identity, blurring the boundaries between tradition and innovation. Picabia's ability to challenge the status quo of the art world and his unique way of experimenting with spatial perception in relation to the figure, particularly in his 'Transparences' series, functions as the red thread connecting his works to those of the other artists in the exhibition.
Drawing inspiration from a wide array of sources, including antique sculptures, Renaissance paintings, biblical characters, animals, nature, and images of family and friends, all the artists in the show capture fleeting moments of life and freeze them in timeless and arresting compositions. Thus, the exhibited works have in common an intrinsic ability to unfold gradually for the viewer, inviting them to immerse themselves in a world where ambiguity and multiple narratives coexist.
Picabia's ability to layer disparate forms and motifs to create sensuous compositions that defy traditional pictorial space is echoed in the contemporary artists shown alongside him in the exhibition. Through a similar approach to the medium, one that favours the denial of perspective, but employing arrestingly different painterly lexicons, the exhibited works offer an anti-hierarchical and fluid reading of history.
The Shape of Time aims to create a continuum between historical and contemporary works, highlighting the ongoing relevance and enduring impact of Picabia's legacy within the discourse on painting, as well as suggesting new connections among a very diverse group of contemporary artists.