A slight pall of melancholia hangs in the air at the Camden Arts Centre at the thought of Jenni Lomax’s last few exhibitions in charge. Lomax has been the Hampstead institution’s director for more than 30 years.
In this new exhibition, we are shown Daniel Richter’s vibrant, restless and provocative paintings in the large galleries, paired with new sculptural works by Jennifer Tee, in the bright and naturally lit gallery overlooking Finchley Road.
Richter’s exhibition comprises a selection of paintings – from the 1990s to the present day – that invite thoughts of anarchy, and conflicts within society. Tee, on the other hand, creates a nurturing environment, using organic materials and traditional arts and crafts techniques, and pairs these objects with healing Eastern philosophies. Together, Richter and Tee provide a stimulus which activates and engages, then soothes and comforts. An effective antidote to any sadness felt.
Daniel Richter (born 1962 in Eutin, West Germany) started his career designing posters and album covers for punk bands. The upheaval brought about by the collapse of the Berlin wall saw him switch to fine art and begin four years of study at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg. He is now regarded as one of the most important painters of his generation.
The selected paintings in this exhibition, Lonely Old Slogans, have been installed without chronological order – illustrating the radical formal and aesthetic shifts employed throughout his artistic career. There are clear influences from Peter Doig, a close friend of the artist, in his earlier paintings, as well as Francis Bacon and William de Kooning in his most recent works.
Surveillance culture is, however, a consistent theme, as well as responding to the social and political realities of the time – proving you can take the kid out of punk, but never the punk out of the kid.
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