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Tuesday 6 October 2009

Adam Neate: A New Understanding

The UK’s most promising artist’s work takes a new direction in his latest solo show in the heart of Soho. 31-year-old Adam Neate’s trademark cardboard works have become one of the iconic symbols of the UK street art generation, avidly collected worldwide. A New Understanding marks a significant step in the young artist’s career, setting a new level of artistic growth and witnessing a significant development in Neate’s technique and innate sense of composition, use of colours and movement.

After nearly two years of painstaking preparation, the Ipswich born artist presents his new collection of paintings and three-dimensional sculptural pieces in a museum quality exhibition at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms. The familiar cardboard, a seminal element of his work from his early beginnings, is now reworked, skilfully sculpted and combined with Perspex, metals, collage and other sourced objects, depicting everyday life and emotions in a uniquely intense and almost cubist interpretation of reality. A collection of 22 new works offers a 360 degrees revolutionary interpretation of a mixed media approach, where 3-dimensional pieces enable the viewers to gain a new perspective and to develop a greater understanding of Neate’s complex aesthetic. These works are a collaboration of all the styles and techniques Neate has evolved over the years.

The artist’s interest is in mixing different styles, referencing the languages of Expressionism and Futurism, Cubism and Fauvism. Layering and juxtaposing different media, Neate conveys a compelling sense of poignancy and movement in his vividly figurative pieces.
“This body of work has changed totally from how I was working on it at the beginning, to how I am working on it now; I have a whole new direction with it. For me it has become a whole new way of thinking and learning. In some ways I feel like I have pushed it so far in the space of a year that people who know my work might now not recognise it, or that it will be unrecognisable to some. There are signs in there, bits of my language that have continued, but ultimately this exhibition demonstrates that I have tried to go one step further” Adam Neate

Neate’s work can be defined, in the words of art historian Ben Jones, as a “clash of materials – gold leaf oncardboard, cheap clothing material draped over a painted figure against a digital photo background blown up onto foam board, spray paint, layered over oil paint, employing materials of impermanence to produce images of Neate’s second solo show at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms represents the climax of a number of artistic achievements in the past months, from the sell out Adam and Ron Show, in collaboration with the father of Agit Pop Ron English, the epic 'public participation' art installation The London Show, where Adam Neate and teams of helpers distributed, over the course of one night, 1000 multiple works on cardboard in the streets on London, generating a treasure hunt in which an estimated 50,000 people took part.

The exhibition opens on 9th October and continues until 21st November
Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, London


All images (c) Adam Neate courtsey the gallery.

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