Alison Jacques Gallery announces representation of Sophie Barber

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, May 26, 2024

Alison Jacques Gallery announces representation of Sophie Barber
Sophie Barber, 2 Tables die Askulptur, 2020. Oil on canvas, 20 x 25 x 7 cm, 7 7/8 x 9 7/8 x 2 3/4 ins Courtesy Alison Jacques Gallery, London © Sophie Barber.

LONDON.- Alison Jacques Gallery announced representation of Sophie Barber, whose debut exhibition will open in London in September 2021.

Born in 1996 in St Leonards-on-Sea and working in the nearby town of Hastings, Barber is a painter who draws directly from the world around her, reproducing natural and man-made visual fragments in an attempt to preserve and process their forms. Gathering and positioning tents, birds, dens and word games on monumental block-colour canvases, she creates surreal, folk-like compositions that are less depictions of her native Sussex coast than distillations of the impression it leaves. “Her paintings do not seek to definitively record a singular object or place”, writes critic Philomena Epps of Barber’s recent paintings, “they are not about Burwash, Hastings, Bexhill, but rather they elicit a frame of reference or mode of seeing that sets a kind of scene.”

Upon graduating from University of Brighton at Sussex Coast College Hastings in 2017, Barber was awarded the CVAN South East Platform Graduate Award, which is run in partnership between Aspex, De La Warr Pavilion, MK Gallery, Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary. Speaking of Barber’s work at the time, Paul Hobson, Director of Modern Art Oxford, noted: “We were all struck by the coherence of Sophie’s painting practice and her already confident and distinctive artistic voice.” In the years since, Barber has continued to refine this voice through numerous acclaimed solo and group presentations – at such institutions and exhibition spaces as Goldsmiths CCA, London, and La Maison de Rendez-vous, Brussels – developing an ambitious and dynamic painterly practice that toys with the possibilities of scale, reference and materiality.

Barber’s paintings exist as aggregations of her immediate surroundings. In her recent solo exhibition at Goldsmiths CCA, The Greatest Song a Songbird Ever Sung, which was curated by Sarah McCrory and marked Barber’s first solo presentation in a UK institution, three monumental canvases combined textual fragments and references to the Sussex coastline with various depictions of shelters: bird hides and dens, heavy circus tents that corresponded with the unstretched material on which they were rendered. This interest in concealment carries into Barber’s broader process: not only does she work with heavy layers of oil, each of which obscures the marks that came before, she also deconstructs the images that she paints, redistributing their components in a manner that obscures their original form. While the 2018 work Puffin at Pett Level does not explicitly depict the titular bird, its colouring is preserved in the red of a tent, a deep black background and the yellow edge of a moon.

When Barber speaks of her interest in “heaviness and things collapsing”, she is alluding to both the material qualities of her work, the way in which her unstretched canvases slump like oversized clothes on shoulders, and the manner in which she collapses the very images she paints. Rarely is this process of playful reduction as evident as in the miniature works that Barber paints on tightly-wrapped offcuts of recycled canvas. On the irregular surfaces of these impastoed objects, Barber depicts the sculptural forms of such celebrated male gatekeepers as Giotto, Barry Flanagan and, most frequently, Franz West, their monumental public sculptures humorously reduced to squiggles and intentionally slipshod marks.

These forms are replicated because, as with the tents that populate her larger canvases (“structures that move with the weather and the world”), they have left such an impression on Barber that she feels compelled to do so. As is illustrated in a recent series of miniatures, onto which she has playfully reproduced the covers of ArtReview magazines that were strewn around her studio, this is repetition as an attempt to resolve, working over as a means to work out why certain forms stick with us. In this, Barber’s is a slow game of process images: of replicating, reconfiguring and reconsidering visually arresting forms until they reveal themselves to be something other than they were before – or collapse completely, like the pink spirals of a Franz West sculpture or the heavy walls of a circus tent.

Alison Jacques comments: “It is a real honour to welcome Sophie Barber to the gallery. Sophie is a young, ambitious artist with a distinctive visual language. She has the unique ability to distil her interests and immediate surroundings into paintings that communicate with their art historical precedents while also feeling joyously contemporary. We are all thrilled at the prospect of collaborating with her as she further develops her painterly practice and continues to hone her distinct point of view on the world.”

Barber has had solo exhibitions at Goldsmiths CCA, London, curated by Sarah McCrory (2020), and Project 78 Gallery, St Leonards-on-Sea (2018). Her work has been included in recent group shows at La Maison de Rendez-vous, Brussels (2020); Flatland Projects, Hastings (2019); Phoenix Art Space, Brighton (2019); Niagara Falls Projects, Brighton (2019); Towner Gallery, Eastbourne (2018); De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea (2017); and the Observer Building, Hastings (2016).

Today's News

November 26, 2020

Grave is found at site of historic Black church in Colonial Williamsburg

FENIX Museum for Migration acquires art deco miniatures; First Van Ryper ship models in Dutch museum

UK teen who threw French boy from museum requests move from prison

An enigmatic painting by a rediscovered woman artist enters a UK public collection

Christie's announces Shang: Early Chinese Ritual Bronzes from the Daniel Shapiro Collection

Artcurial to offer the personal collection of art dealer Maurice Garnier

Victorian Government to fund the construction of NGV Contemporary

Alison Jacques Gallery announces representation of Sophie Barber

Van Eaton Galleries announces "Walt Disney: The Man, The Studio, and The Parks" auction

Alys Tomlinson's Portraits of School Leavers' Lost Summer win the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2020

Exhibition features a selection of never-before-seen paintings by Genieve Figgis

Cowan's American Historical Ephemera and Photography Auction exceeds presale estimate by nearly $300,000

The Met appoints Lavita McMath Turner as Chief Diversity Officer

Bob R. Simpson session claims top lot honors in $14.5 million U.S. Coins Auction at Heritage

Silent classics make some noise during Heritage Auctions' most successful vintage posters event yet

Clocks, watches, art glass, signed jewelry and lamps all do well in Miller & Miller Auctions online sale

How to pretend you're in Paris tonight

Christie's France announces highlights included in the Post-War & Contemporary Art sale

Top Israeli writer enjoys pandemic-fuelled creative surge

Film London Jarman Award split between the six shortlisted artists for the first time

Sotheby's offers Michael Jordan's 1991 NBA Final sneakers from Nike exec Sonny Vaccaro

Christie's presents curated design auction: La Ménagerie

Guide to Growing Your Own Supplements

Health and Fitness: Premature Birth Tied to Increased Depression Risk

COVID Combat Fatigue: 'I Would Come Home With Tears in My Eyes.'

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful