This solo exhibition by English artist Alexander James is his first in London since returning from Russia four years ago. For three decades James has tirelessly explored the painterly mechanics of water as his primary medium. We will present previously unseen works from ‘Vanitas’, ‘Rosae’ and ‘Dissolved Sadness’ – the critically acclaimed Moscow exhibition of 2014 – alongside a new body of work ‘All Icons Are False’, a collection of unique prints.
“In this new body of work”, he says, “I present a gothic homage to the stained glass window for the 21st century. The stained glass windows have had their religious totems removed and replaced with organic abstractions as the icon of these religious mantles. We ourselves seem to be drowning in a society that is dominated by a reverence towards the new religion of media, flocking to the church of brand and celebrity. Nature and science alone command such idolism; all other icons are false.”
Précis from text by Paul Carey-Kent (art critic).
The images of ‘All Icons are False’ are of flowers underwater, but they look more like abstract stained-glass windows. To make them, James took 850 plate film photographs of 50 petal-heavy arrangements of flowers densely combined underwater, then variously layered these ‘core plates’ on a scanner – up to four at a time – using both positive and negative images. The result is an acceptance of the contingent in sequence of semi-controlled accidents, much as occurs in process based abstract painting like Richter’s, and with the characteristic attraction of being able to trace – or at least speculate on – what events have caused the particular outcome. James moves beyond the falsity of icons to propose the need for a spiritual renaissance with nature.’
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The Gynaecological Cancer Fund
We are on a mission to raise funds in support of leading oncologist Dr Susana Banerjee’s research at The Royal Marsden, in her groundbreaking work into precision therapies for gynaecological cancer treatment. Each member of our committee has lost a family member or close friend to gynaecological or other female cancer. We are all deeply committed to raising £750,000 over three years through private fundraising, local and national Lady Garden Campaigns and the Lady Garden Campaigners.