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Alvaro Barrington; A Focus in Painting at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House (2020)

A Focus on Painting Alvaro Barrington

12 September—21 October 2020
London Ely House

A Focus on Painting

Curated by Julia Peyton-Jones

There has been a recent upsurge of exhibitions focusing on artists for whom painting is their preferred medium and this show presents the work of four painters, both established and emerging, who explore the medium in different ways.

With materials ranging from yarn to newsprint to poured colour, the processes these artists use and the forms of their final works are compellingly diverse. Mandy El-Sayegh and Rachel Jones explore what appears to be abstraction, however at its core is an investigation of the human body and the formation of identity, while Alvaro Barrington and Dona Nelson play with form and materials not usually associated with painting.

Alvaro Barrington (b. 1983, Caracas, Venezuela) has risen to international acclaim in recent years with his multidimensional practice ranging from solo presentations of his work to collaborative street parties, concerts and floats for Notting Hill Carnival. He is currently teaching at Slade School of Fine Art in London and will have a solo exhibition at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris in Spring 2021.

Informed by an ongoing commitment to a wide range of practices – including the visual arts, music, fashion, education, reading and philanthropy – Barrington will present two new paintings conceived specifically for this exhibition.

Experimenting with and adjusting to the ‘logic’ found within other artists’ work in relation to his own, Barrington’s new paintings consider different approaches to abstraction through simplified palettes, the application of the grid and the expressive potential of bold brushstrokes. Painted on torn sheets of burlap and presented in custom-made wooden frames, the works further reference the artist's personal and cultural ties to the Caribbean and its tradition of cacao production, where coffee beans are packed in burlap bags. 

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