LONDON.- WW Gallery
presents Demigods, a solo show of new paintings by Enzo Marra 22 April 8 May. Enzo Marras painterly work is characterized by elements of history, mythology, surrealism and metamorphosis. His new Demigods series is a tribute to some of the artists who have inspired him, Marras own personal heroes and heroines, rendered as deified mortals.
Marra is an artist in his studio, painting artists at work in their studios, each depicted in a manner that conjures up our collective romantic vision of the artist toiling away in a cosy bohemian garret. Subjects from Francis Bacon to Gilbert & George and Jackson Pollock to Cornelia Parker, are all handled in the same thick impasto and tonal palette of blacks, greys and whites.
Marras paintings have a nostalgic, reverential quality and surfaces that are laid bare for the comparisons that are there to be drawn. Stylistically, Demigods encompasses an array of influences, from the almost calligraphic language of Giacometti to the abstract textural works of Zebedee Jones, and while Marra is to some extent a throwback to the gestural figuration of Auerbach, Kossoff and the School of London, he is no mere imitator. In recording the apotheosis of these artists, Marras subject matter reinvents a tradition of artists portraying one and other, a genre made famous by Gauguin and Van Gogh during their tempestuous time in Arles of by the Bloomsbury Group, who painted and recorded each other from youth to old age.
Enzo Marras works on paper will be shown at this years Venice Biennale at WW Gallerys collateral exhibition Afternoon Tea 30 May 12 June. In January 2011, four new works from the Demigods series were shown with WW Gallery in Art Projects at the London Art Fair. Marra (b. 1975) has had numerous commissions and exhibitions in the UK and in Italy, including selection for exhibition in the Threadneedle Prize 2010 and the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009. He lives and works in Brighton and is represented by WW Gallery.
The word time-warp sprang to mind as I cast my eye over the work of Enzo Marra for the first time at his tiny Brighton-based studio. As if the paintings themselves were not evocative enough of a bygone era, the smell of oils and the sight of canvases piled up in various stages of completion across every inch of wall and floor space, added to the illusion that I was in the period and company of one of the old School of London painters. --Debra Wilson, Director, WW Gallery