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Wednesday 10 March 2010

A New Initiative for Art Graduates in London

Imagine being a recent art graduate? I mean the doom and gloom of recent times is like a nasty piece of gum stuck on your shoe, it’s annoying and hard to shake – frankly you can’t even fathom touching it. So, I feel it’s always worth a mention when galleries are doing something different with their programming to support the next generation. I’ve been a fan of the Timothy Taylor Gallery for a few years now, with shows that are not only exciting but also enriching in today’s cultural climate.

The Viewing Room, a new initiative by the Timothy Taylor Gallery launches this month. In association with Domo Baal, Christopher Hanlon, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, London will be the first artist to have his work shown under this new umbrella series.

Hanlon's hermetic and tonally low-key paintings appear at first to be fragments of a psychologically charged drama. Typically presented in small installations, Hanlon’s apparently heterogeneous arrangements of abstract and figurative paintings slowly combine to convey feelings of disenchantment and longing, without recourse to a unifying or underlying narrative.

In Broken Vendor (2009) and Untitled (Screen 2), 2008, flat fields of subtly modulated colour situated in empty and ambiguous spaces block and frustrate the viewer’s gaze. In Hanlon’s more Baroque geometrical experiments, a multiplication of folds and attendant shadows confuse the eye, which is further disorientated by unexpected changes in the surface texture and opacity of paint.

Themes of masking and obscuring similarly occur in Hanlon’s figurative compositions. In The Lull, 2010 the artist’s anonymous and mute protagonist averts her eyes, where in other paintings his characters turn their backs towards the viewer altogether. In both his abstract and figurative paintings, Hanlon alludes to the inadequacies and failure of communication and language, whether it be visual, spoken, or expressed in a gesture.

Christopher Hanlon was born in 1978 in the UK and currently lives and works in London. He received his MFA from the Royal College of Art in 2008 and was part of Bloomberg New Contemporaries in the same year. Hanlon recently exhibited at the Renaissance Society at University of Chicago (2009), and Domo Baal, London (2009).

Christopher Hanlon opens 17 March and continues until 9 April. For further information visit www.timothytaylorgallery.com

Image Credits

Christopher Hanlon
‘Untitled’, 2009
Oil on canvas stretched over board
17 1/2 x 13 in. / 45 x 33.5 cm

Christopher Hanlon
‘Untitled (Screen 2)’, 2008
Oil on canvas stretched over board
12 1/2 x 14 in. / 32 x 36 cm

Christopher Hanlon
‘The Lull’, 2010
Oil on canvas stretched over board
23 x 16 in. / 58 x 40 cm

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