Unit London, December 2017
‘His ambition has been to restore a sense of monumentality and quiet beyond the superficial aesthetic of the twenty-first century.’ - Prof. Catherine McCormack PhD.
Unit London is delighted to announce 'Transitions', a new exhibition by Hastings-based artist Jake Wood-Evans. Following the success of his 2016 show 'Subjection & Discipline', which saw the artist create a body of portraiture work inspired by 18th century Masters including Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Henry Raeburn, 'Transitions' sees a shift of focus towards landscape and abstraction. Richly-coloured, light-imbued scenes characterise the work, in which seascapes and serene vistas appear as though through a veil or clouded glass. In one, a figure is suggested, glowing within a studio of silks and fabric; in another, a horse is suspended beneath a flood of luminosity. Leaving behind the subdued colours of previous collections, the canvases are splashed with vivid hues of gold, red, orange, turquoise and blue, whilst delicate brushwork is set alongside sweeping washes and horizontal scratches and scores.
Taking influence from the work of John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer and George Stubbs, among others, Wood-Evans’ paintings retain recognisable elements that allude to the conventions of art history. Drawing on these masters’ legacies, his intention is to capture the essence of these historic works without replicating them, depicting familiar, yet obscured subject matter. Through first creating, then scrubbing away, reworking and removing sections of a scene, the artist reveals ghostly infrastructures that preserve the warmth and glow of the original painting.
Describing his work as ‘a process of conflict with the ambiguous space between representation and abstraction’, Wood-Evans resists the urge to provide easy readings or instantly accessible compositions. 'Transitions' invites the viewer to pause and quietly contemplate a series of multi-layered paintings that denote a common visual language built through our shared history and consumption of art imagery.