55 South Audley
London W1K 2QH, UK
Massimo de Carlo gallery is pleased to present the first exhibition in London by Caleb Considine. For this occasion, the artist introduces a group of seven new, small-format canvases.
Considine’s paintings isolate quotidian scenarios or PSA (Public Service Announcement)-generic imagery, often re-setting these subjects in the context of the artist's studio. He paints from live observation, with an approach that generates belabored and abraded surfaces.
In this new series, echoes of pre-WWII American representational painting can be glimpsed in a close-up of two plastic plants or a fragment of a New York City subway station, but neither the urban nor natural landscape asserts itself as a ground-plane or leitmotif from which meaning is built.
Two portraits of female friends show prolonged hours of careful work and patient sitting, yet offer little purchase for the psychologizing projections to which portraiture is routinely subjected.
Meanwhile, a ring of keys rests on a dirty laptop keyboard, and a man puffs smoke from his tracheotomy—images that seem so heavily obvious as to make ascribing further significance uncomfortable. But this principle of Considine's work, which disobliges excess interpretation, arises from a deliberate process of aesthetic selection. Exclusions, as much as choices of subject matter, are made in an attempt to keep out easily identifiable ploys, resulting in a vacuum-like image space.