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Group show featuring work by six artists opens at Haunch of Venison in London
Uwe Wittwer, Caravan, 2012. Oil on Canvas, 140 x 200 cmUwe Wittwer. Courtesy Haunch of Venison.
LONDON.- Haunch of Venison presents a group show featuring work by Jia Aili, Jitish Kallat, Susanne Kuhn, Justin Mortimer, Patricia Piccinini and Uwe Wittwer.

In this exhibition Haunch of Venison presents Beijing based Chinese artist, Jia Aili for the first time in Europe; Australian artist Patricia Paccinini for the first time in London; and new work by British artist Justin Mortimer for the first time with the gallery.

The Observer includes the work of six international contemporary artists - five painters and one sculptor - who all create art within the realm of figurative realism. Despite the impact of photography, abstraction, film and video, realism and figurative realism continues to be prevalent in contemporary art from around the world. The works on display demonstrate the range of methods used in this genre - from meticulously constructed photo-realist images to looser, more naturalistic work.

The exhibition takes its title from an emblematic work by Australian artist Patricia Piccinini. The Observer, 2010, is a sculpture of a young boy perched precariously on top of an unbalanced stack of chairs that look set to collapse at any moment, a visual metaphor of the world the human race has constructed for itself and the uncertain future it faces. A key theme running through the show is the way in which artists are using figuration to explore a shared sense of crisis, and to create a new iconography of melancholy. The prevalence of melancholic imagery and disturbing themes in the work of these leading figurative artists articulates their perception of a world in turmoil.

• Uwe Wittwer (b. 1954) lives and works in Zurich. Recent solo exhibitions include Haunch of Venison, London, 2009, Fred Jahn, Munich, 2009, Nolan Judin, Berlin, 2009, Cohan & Leslie, New York, 2008 and Haunch of Venison, Zurich, 2007. Recent institutional shows include the Kunst (Zeug) Haus Rapperswill, Zurich, 2008, the Kunstmuseum Solothurn and the Ludwig Forum, Aachen, 2005.

• Patricia Piccinini (b. 1965, Sierra Leone) lives in Australia. Solo museum survey exhibitions include Relativity at the Art Gallery of WA, Evolution at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Vitoria-Gasteiz , Spain. In 2003 her exhibition We Are Family represented Australia at the 50th Venice Biennale before touring to the Hara Museum, Tokyo, Japan and the Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Australia.

• Susanne Khn (b 1969, Germany) studied painting at Leipzig’s School of Visual Arts. Her works have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Kunstverein Freiburg, The Kemper Museum Kansas, Museum fur Neue Kunst Freiburg, Norwich Art Gallery, Galerie fur Zeitgenassische Kunst Leipzig, Museum Frieder Burda, Robert Goff Gallery, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans.

• Jitish Kallat (b. 1974, Mumbai). Recent museum exhibitions include Thermocline of Art - New Asian Waves at the ZKM Museum in Karlsruhe, 2007 and Century City at Tate Modern in London, 2001. Kallat has participated widely in biennials and triennials, including The 5th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Australia, 2006 and The 6th Gwangju Biennale in Korea, 2006. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place with galleries in Beijing, London and Mumbai.

• Justin Mortimer (b. 1970, U.K) studied at the Slade School of Art, London. Recent exhibitions include: Some Do mestic Incidents, Prague Biennale 5, 2011, Some Domestic Incidents, MAC Birmingham, UK, Bad Industry, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles. Mortimer’s work is included in museum and institutional collections such as the National Portrait Gallery, London, National Portrait Gallery, Canada, Flash Art Museum of Contemporary Art, Trevi, Italy, Royal Collection, and Royal Society for the Arts.

• Jia Aili (b. in 1979) lives and works in Beijing. He attended Lu Xun Academy of Fine Art in Shenyang in North East China. Recent solo exhibitions include Sh Contemporary, Shanghai, Michael Ku Gallery, Taipei, DoART, Beijing, The Dharma Bums, Cornell University, New York, and Platform China Contemporary Art Institute Beijing. Group exhibitions include CIRCA 10, Puerto Rico, 2010; 10 Years, LuXun, Academy of Fine Arts, Shenyang, China, 2009; Simon Franks and Rob Suss Collection show, London, UK, 2008; Hong Kong International Art Fair, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, Hong Kong, 2008; Subtlety, Platform China, Beijing, China, 2008; Looking for Me, Minsheng Center for Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China, 2008.

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