In Signal Gallery‘s first group show in the new Paul Street space, they are presenting four very interesting artists whose work links and entwines in very winning ways Andrew McAttee, Dan Baldwin, John Squire and Joram Roukes. It’s a fine match between the abstract and figurative ends of the painting spectrum. However, this is not a one sided game, but an exploration of overlapping skills and techniques, that will make excellent viewing, if not producing any obvious winners.
Of the two strongly figurative artists in the show, Dan Baldwin is best known to the UK. His dynamic and intricately subtle paintings are a familiar and respected part of the contemporary/urban art scene. More recently, a new paired-down style has proved to be a very successful development. He has shown all over the UK, Europe and the US. His 2010 solo show at Signal Gallery and shows in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Denver have been recent highlights of a very busy career.
Joram Roukes is a new name to the UK. A young artist, who has lived, trained and worked in The Netherlands. He has shown extensively across his home country and has developed a very good profile there. Roukes large-scale oil paintings have a sense of fantasy and humor that is superficially akin to Baldwin’s work. However, there is a more robust and serious purpose to these works, which gives them a powerful and dark effect. His randomly layered figures appear to be grotesque one minute and humorous the next.
At first glance Andrew McAttee’s work is overflowing with optimism and light. It almost seems too good to be true. However, on closer inspection these colorful images consist only of bubbles, clouds and swirls. There is a notable absence of more representational imagery and a reassuring grinning Mickey Mouse fails to appear. The absence of any familiar figurative imagery seems to create an unnerving sense of emptiness. Andrew’s work has been shown all over the UK and the US. He has had considerable success with a number of London galleries, having a string of highly successful solo shows at Elm Lester Painting Rooms and at the Forster Gallery. This will be the first time Andrew has shown at Signal.
Finally, John Squire is a dedicated artist with a very interesting history. Originally, he received considerable acclaim as part of the rock band ‘The Stone Roses’. More recently, he has concentrated on developing his visual art career. His varied and unfailingly rich output of work has consisted mainly of paintings. His artwork first came to public notice with the very popular Pollockesque album cover designs for his band. Since then, his work has been paired down and has become generally abstract in form. A major retrospective exhibition of his work at the ICA in 2004 launched him onto the London art scene. Since then he has had a series of important solo shows in London (one at Signal), across the UK and globally.
Who: Andrew McAttee, Dan Baldwin, John Squire and Joram Roukes
Where: Signal Gallery / 32 Paul Street / Hoxton / London, EC2A 4LB
When: February 10 – March 5