Two artists on show, but two different ways of showing them. Unit London and Blain|Southern face each other across Hanover Street as black taxis, red buses, cars, vans and bicycles wizz through the street, dodging barriers and road works – not a very happy environment for the poor innocent pedestrian, but hopefully some day peace will return!.
Both galleries are showing work by two artists, Blain|Southern bridging east and west with American artist Ed Moses and Chinese artist Qin Fern, while Unit London bridges across the Atlantic between London and Iowa with the younger contemporary artists Rex Southwick and Joshua Hagler. Blain|Southern has combined and integrated their two artists, perhaps reflecting their complimentary interests in each other’s cultures and countries; Unit London has separated them, with one on each floor joined by the glazed floor panel which gives fascinating glimpses up and down between the two.
Their work is very different. American artist Joshua Hagler was at Unit a year ago as part of the Summer Exhibition and each of his paintings in ‘Chimera’ is bursting with detail that immerses the viewer in a shifting, changing, disjoined narrative with abstraction and reality flowing in and out to his theme of ‘violence of the mind’.
British artist Rex Southwick’s series of work ‘Querencia’ s is cooler, more detailed and precise, with modernist architecture acting as a backcloth to groups of workers building, cleaning and maintaining the swimming pools of these luxury houses, a symbol of success even in modern Britain as climate change means that we have longer and warmer summers. A few weeks ago I enjoyed a hot air balloon flight over Surrey and the number of swimming pools that you see in that area is astonishing. Our culture is changing, as the climate changes….and our views on what means personal success is also changing.
Two different artists, two different continents and two different views of modern life……