26/06/08 Contemporary art collection for KBC
Contemporary yet strongly rooted in tradition - that's how one can describe the new collection of art taken for a loan by KBC Financial Products. Fourteen works by different ArtLab artists, despite variety of approaches, bear in common the desire to negotiate a meaningful relationship with the tradition from which their work emerges.
Alex Gough, for instance, a young artist already noticed by some of the prominent art collectors such as Anita Zabludowicz, in his impressive composition Sininen Hetki 2 (illustrated) addresses the romantic tradition of landscape mastered in 19th century by Caspar David Friedrich. Layers of contrasting sky in background and the dominant representation of pine trees in the foreground achieve the dreamy atmosphere of solitude.
Alex Gough’s art seems to represent a similar sensibility as an American artist Glen Rubsamen, whose oils explore the nocturnal existence of trees within urban environment without human presence.
Rebecca Knapp’s paintings explore the subject of suburban life, taking as a focus street scenes. The origin of Rebecca works lies in the Internet snap-shots, which are transferred to the canvas. She injects seriousness to the settings, which appear to be banal at first. The ambiguity of her urban compositions: featureless faces, flat surfaces and loose brush strokes are left to a viewer to resolve.
Benet Spencer’s ‘Steamer’ (illustrated), a boldly coloured vision of South Asian or perhaps South American landscapes owes a lot to the playful imagination of early Cubist experiments. The daringly divided canvas into cubes of colour echoes one of the favourite Cubism techniques - the collage. Benet Spencer, however, instead of using multitude of mediums, plays with thin layers of vivid shades inventing his own ideal landscape.
The collection also includes canvases and prints by Raymond Yap, Bill Pryde, Richard Ducker, Tessa MacGregor, Nicholas Fox, Oona Culley, Hannah Hewetson, Joe Currie, Emi Avora and Rupert Burt.