Private View 12 July, 6 - 10pm
Gallery 46, 46 Ashfield Street, E1 2AJ
Exhibition continues until17 July
The first exhibition since 2016, Monday Club by Chris Moon, is a new series of paintings based on the artist’s daily cycle from his Bethnal Green studio to London Fields Lido in East London. Moon’s paintings gently invite viewers to join him on a self-reflective journey, in which a recurring state of anxiety gives way to tranquillity found in the pool waters.
The artist uses photographs and drawings to harness memories from this physical and emotional journey. Studies created on a recent May bank holiday capture the mass invasion of park and pool on a single sun-drenched afternoon. These are the starting point for the exhibition that unfolds across two Georgian terrace houses.
In the process of making, working with oil-stick and paint, watercolour and gloss emulsion on canvas, Moon at once systematically dismantles and recreates his memories. Acts of containment and control in the process of expression and recall result in works that are less snippets of Moon’s observations and more the embodiment of the artist’s sense of isolation.
Moon’s fluency with both figure and abstraction, featured in his early London solo shows, comes into full force in this series. Reinvention recurs throughout his practice and has enabled him to transform his canvases from carriers of observations into experiences, which in turn become reflections on the act of painting. Moon searches for his memories on the canvas ‘real time’, repeatedly reworking them. His palettes are at once flesh-like – a nod to reclining semi-clothed figures, and neon – a nod to the incessant intrusion of the city’s sounds, smells, textures and energy. In the pool-side scenes, also multi-layered but lighter in touch, Moon is able to make his colours bleed just enough to allow a hint of a face or a swimsuit outline to emerge. These intimate works are based on images taken from the perimeter of the lido. Here the artist is clearly the voyeur, the outsider looking in on the bathers from behind a closed gate.
East London-born Chris Moon (b.1976) is a master of the untrained, self-taught and punk in his ideology, he has often chosen to exhibit independently. His early London solo exhibitions, HOME (2011) and REVERIE (2012) received wide acclaim. Exhibitions followed in New York (2014), Los Angeles (2015) and again in London (2016) with many works entering private collections. Moon's paintings have been featured in Interview Magazine and Flaunt in the USA and in Dazed, AnOther and Port Magazine in the UK amongst others.
This exhibition is a collaboration with Gallery 46 and contemporary art curator and writer Dr Nina Pearlman, Head of UCL Art Collections, UCL Culture.