Gallery 10G is pleased to announce the opening of “Interiors” a group show which brings together 3 British painters (Kissell, Hartshorne & Thomas) and 1 American painter (Tole) all whose work features different styles of interiors. Each artist uses their unique approach to make creative and well thought out compositions. The paintings by the 3 British artists are idealized and imaginative whereas the painting by Tole, is more realistic as he works in the style of photo-realism which dates back to the art movement of the late 1960’s- early 1970’s.
Louise Thomas: For this series of interiors, Thomas rifled through brochures and researched the archives of Country Life magazine, which holds photographs of country houses dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, many of which were never published. She became fascinated by the abandoned ostentatious homes some whose beautiful and fragile interiors she discovered now only exist in this archive. Alongside site visits, she found reading personal accounts of growing up in these buildings to be incredibly insightful, most importantly Rainer Maria Rilke’s childhood memories of his grandfathers sprawling mansion as well as Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘Orlando’. The experience of the atmosphere, smell and touch of a huge succession of interiors fed into her paintings on a subliminal level. These two new paintings, Trust Misinformation and For the Sake of Preservation both from 2008, attempt to recollect or recover something of what was lost in the fires. Alongside research at Country life, Thomas visited many country houses all over England. Spending hours in state rooms, dining rooms and having tea with National Trust stewards, discussing the imitation silk wallpaper and the restoration of 18th century sofas.
Ian Hartshorne’s paintings are made with the intention that they might stimulate new thoughts, encourage us to re-examine our beliefs, or simply act as a gentle reminder. The paintings reveal strangely constructed interiors with views ranging from partially enclosed spaces and neglected attics to rooms that are spacious, stylish, and remarkably furnished. Hartshorne's confident use of color is both intuitive and ideological, and he has developed the ability to use a range of idiosyncratic color combinations. The formal rules of perspective no longer apply, altering often and inexplicably. The painting plane is often split or has slipped. Objects appear upside down or occasionally float in organized space as seen in The Rule of Thumb. Despite these diverse pictorial elements, the overall impression of these interiors is not one of chaos, but of an underlying order. The compositional dynamic of each painting is underpinned by a conscious desire to balance contrasting elements - saturated areas of flat color with graduated areas, hard edges with soft dissolves, light with shade, clutter with calm. One of the paintings, Exit Strategy, exclusively reflects his own interests and desires. By placing his viewpoint firmly within each interior, Hartshorne is able to control the compositional dynamics not only within the restricted space, but also outside that space to show what lies beyond, thereby creating an intensely charged environment.
Natasha Kissell is known for her use of the landscape to trigger memories and associations within her paintings. She typically uses well known modernist architecture and transports the buildings into magical locales- thus depicting mysterious worlds that exist on another plain from reality. In these two new works, Golden Slippers and Silver Swan, she has reversed her distinctive style by creating lively modernist interiors which also feature her idiosyncratic style of portraying spectacular landscape views on the back walls. These works can be understood as a painting within a painting- giving them a two in one effect. Kissell is directly influenced by modern architecture and furniture she sees around her either from collecting magazine images or going for site visits. While recently on a visit to NYC, she was inspired by a Phillipe Starck chandelier and the patterned carpet from The Gramercy Park Hotel which she features in Golden Slippers. She has also included a pair of Christian Lacroix shoes and a Phillipe Starck lampshade with revolver base. In Silver Swan she has included a swan chair from The Sanderson Hotel also designed by Phillipe Starck in London as well as an Ingo Maurer chandelier (with the wings). Kissell loves mixing modern design with utopian spaces and referring back to textures used in old master paintings - fur, silver, gold, all things precious to create an idealized space only fit for dreams and never to actually be realized.
Michael Tole grew up during an era of increased economic stratification, and in a suburb where, due to sudden demographic shifts, he saw the interaction of many different socio-economic strata comingling. He is sensitive to indicators of class and wealth. As an artist, he is also conscious of the role images, decorative objects, and design play within the social web of class and culture. In his paintings, Tole uses Faberge Eggs, found in a North Dallas curio shop, as his subject matter which intrigues him both from a purely visual standpoint, and as social signifiers. These paintings continue his exploration of the histories a person chooses to adopt through their retail consumption. To aid in the mutation of reproduction, Tole uses the camera, against all logic, to introduce the element of chance by purposefully shaking it while taking the photo, thus capturing these spectacular objects complete in their gaudy retail environment. Using digital photography in combination with a rich, feathered painting surface results in a painting that is even more baroque than the object it depicts. From here he renders the images into paint, returning them to the realm of High European Realism, consistent with the era in which the original subject matter, Faberge Eggs, were fabricated, and also consistent with their original place as beautiful baubles that embody the power, wealth and prestige of their patrons.