will present Artificial Paradises, a new exhibition by Natasha Kissell. Borrowing its title from Charles Baudelaires eponymous book, this new show opens up multiple windows into a fanciful world. Kissell embraces an altered reality, her paintings function like psychedelic visions inviting viewers into a dream-like space.
In her previous exhibition at Eleven, The Magic Hours, each work was a trigger for a particular state of mind. This new body of works is freed from any links to the real world, it maps a utopia, a highly desirable and yet frustratingly unreachable place. In this fantastic universe, everything is enhanced; the colours are more intense, flowers are as large as trees, and 60s pod houses are dotted around like strange jungle vegetation.
These works oppose two understandings of modernity. Kissell contrasts the slick ines of modernist architecture a main feature of her works since the very early days with the flicking, collage-like perception of the modern world, as described by Baudelaire. The artist also pushes further her reinvention of the traditional genre of landscape painting; following on from the Romantic tradition, her pictures celebrate nature by sublimating it.
Over the last year, birds have been increasingly present in Kissells works. Like cherubs in Renaissance painting, these little characters animate the image, weaving small narratives into the pictures. Two birds, each carrying a rose in their beak, are flirtatiously flying side by side. Without ever introducing any human figures, Natasha Kissells works introduce very human feelings romance, fear, excitement and wonder.
Natasha Kissell was born in 1978 and lives in Brighton. Her work is in the collections of, amongst others, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, the Saatchi Collection, the Ovitz Family Collection and Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee. She took part in the exhibition Painting the Glass House: Artists Revisit Modern Architecture which opened in March 2008 at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut and the Yale School of Architecture Gallery, and travelled to Mills College Art Museum in California in 2009.