Hampshire Cultural Trust, in collaboration with Unit London, is presenting an exhibition of specially created new works by the leading British artist, Jake Wood-Evans at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre. Titled Relic, the exhibition features more than 20 new works, including 16 large scale paintings which explore Wood-Evans enduring themes of mortality and history; re-appropriating classical subjects for the digital age.
Recalling the great masterpieces of Baroque art, from Rubens to Van Dyke
Wood-Evans paintings fuse the great Romantic tradition of painting with the modernist sensibility of abstract artists such as Rothko and Motherwell. Wood-Evans focuses on the emotional space that his subjects inhabit, creating what the artist describes as ‘a process of conflict with the ambiguous place between representation and abstraction’.
Wood-Evans brings to his art a subtle understanding of the passage of time, expressed in his appropriation of existing historical portraits which he re-works through a process including cropping, erasure and over-painting. While this implies a deliberate and formal approach, the ‘accidental’ and the importance of surface and texture are equally crucial for Wood-Evans. Scenes are washed with a depth of colour, as if clouded by smoke or the eroded surface of a discarded film, creating a quality of living dialogue between artist and subject which might, in turn, be continued by the viewer of these sumptuous paintings.
Relic follows Wood-Evans’ recent critically acclaimed solo show at Unit London, Legacy & Disorder and a move away from full-length portraiture, instead of capturing religious and mythological Baroque imagery. There is also the addition for the first time of large-scale curved canvases for his ‘Assumption’ series, based on the commission for the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp by Rubens, ‘The Assumption of The Virgin Mary’. These are paintings that prompt an emotional response, suggesting portals where the viewer might enter and find space and a quiet moment to contemplate the tangibility of human existence.
Joe Kennedy, Co-Director at Unit London said: “We’re excited to be working with Jake Wood-Evans and the Hampshire Cultural Trust on this exciting new project and we couldn’t think of a more worthy platform to present this dynamic new body of work.”
Paul Sapwell, Chief Executive at Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: We are thrilled to be working with an artist as gifted and accomplished as Jake Wood-Evans and to be able to provide visitors with the opportunity to view the sublime and hauntingly unnerving works in Relic.
Jake Wood-Evans currently lives and works in Hastings, East Sussex. As well as exhibitions at international art fairs and private collections around the world, his work has been shown across galleries in London and the UK. After his well-received 2016, 2017 solo exhibitions: Subjection & Discipline and Transitions, both with Unit London, Wood-Evans was debuted as a featured artist in his inaugural museum exhibition, REPORTRAIT at the Nottingham Castle Museum in 2018. He has since exhibited again at Unit London for Legacy & Disorder. His work can be found in private collections internationally, across New York, Miami, Malaysia, London and Antwerp.
JAKE WOOD-EVANS: RELIC 10 January – 29 March 2020 The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre