post-title Fiona Rae | Row Paintings | Buchmann Galerie | 05.11.-18.12.2021

Fiona Rae | Row Paintings | Buchmann Galerie | 05.11.-18.12.2021

Fiona Rae | Row Paintings | Buchmann Galerie | 05.11.-18.12.2021

Fiona Rae | Row Paintings | Buchmann Galerie | 05.11.-18.12.2021

until 18.12. | #3230ARTatBerlin | Buchmann Galerie shows from 5th November 2021 the solo exhibition “Row Paintings” by the artist Fiona Rae.

Buchmann Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of the group of works ‘Row Paintings’ by British artist Fiona Rae.
The ‘Row Paintings’ were created in the late 1980s, a time when painting was considered by many to be antiquated and irrelevant. Out of a need to re-locate painting and revitalize its possibilities, Fiona Rae began her groundbreaking exploration of the medium and formulated her own visual language.

The ‘Row Paintings’ reveal for the first time the conceptual framework that the artist has maintained to this day and developed over the years in more than 15 sometimes extensive and diverse groups of works. Her visual language reveals recurring painterly as well as semiotic codes that Rae improvises directly on the canvas within self-determined parameters.

Caligraphic and painterly gestures, arranged in rows, exuberant forms reminiscent of pictograms or an alphabet of painting are found on the canvases of Row Paintings. The artist speaks of “Characters,” figurative elements that follow a precise yet very free choreography on the stage of the canvas. Fiona Rae uses these means to explore painting from the axis of both high and popular culture, drawing on such diverse references as Abstract Expressionism, Phillip Guston’s late work, and the surrealist comic strips of George Herriman.

Compositionally, the ‘Row Paintings’ show a strict structure, the painterly material is organized in rows, similar to a notation. This order in rows – Rows – also gives the name to the series. However, the supposed strictness, the conceptual framework, is repeatedly torn open and negated by the gestural inserts. Splashes of color and gradients disturb the strict design and demand their own space. The tension, the suspense of the paintings, is strongly determined by this fruitful conflict: to evoke a vocabulary, a grammar of painterly means in order to subvert and light-handedly transform them with the same means.

In the catalog accompanying the exhibition, the American art theorist and critic Terry R. Myers speaks of a “perpetual presence […] without effort or renunciation,” which appears in the paintings of Fiona Rae. Thus, the presence of the works indeed seems effortless, and – considering the numerous references hidden in this only seemingly abstract painting – visually rich.

The contemporary relevance of ‘Row Paintings’ is also evident in the ongoing exhibition Explorations in Paint at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. There, the work Untitled (six on brown), 1989 is placed in dialogue with other historical works in the collection.

Works from the ‘Row Paintings’ series were first shown in the 1988 exhibition Freeze at London Docklands. This brought Fiona Rae to prominence as an early member of the Young British Artists (YBAs) group that would revolutionize the British art world and beyond. Works by the artist are included in numerous public collections, including the Tate Collection UK, Centre Pompidou Paris, Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, and Mudam Luxembourg. Fiona Rae was born in Hong Kong in 1963 and lives and works in London.

Vernissage: Friday, 5th November 2021, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Exhibition Dates: Friday, 5th November – Saturday, 18th December 2021

to the gallery



Image caption: Untitled (six on grey 1), 1990, Öl auf Leinwand, 213,4 x 198,1 cm, 84 x 78

Exhibition Fiona Rae – Buchmann Galerie | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions  Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin

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