Victoria Miro presents new and recent works by the celebrated painter in an exhibition that coincides with the publication of Paul’s memoir, Self-Portrait, published by Jonathan Cape, and the release of a documentary film about the artist by Jake Auerbach.
Celia Paul’s art is founded on deep connections – familial, creative, looping back and forth across time – to people and places, and is self-assuredly quiet, contemplative and ultimately moving in its attention to detail and intensely felt spirituality. This exhibition, the artist’s fourth with the gallery, focuses on the two key tenets of her work: portraiture and landscape. Alongside a body of new paintings, on view for the first time in the UK are a number of works from an acclaimed exhibition on the artist curated by Hilton Als, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, staff writer and theatre critic for The New Yorker and associate professor of writing at Columbia University, which originated at the Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut, in 2018 and subsequently toured to The Huntington, San Marino.
These works address the abiding themes of Paul’s art – memory and family, the gulf between outward appearance and inner life – while offering touchstones for wider thoughts about time, transience, spirituality and mortality. Begun in 2015, on the thirty-second anniversary of her father’s death and five months after the death of her mother, My Sisters in Mourning, 2015–2016, depicts the artist’s four siblings dressed in shroud-like white dresses. United yet private in their grief, they sit in the space, a corner of Paul’s studio opposite the British Museum, in which the artist painted her mother, her main sitter for many years. Paul thinks of this painting as a companion piece to an earlier work, Family Group, 1984–1986, painted shortly after the death of her father, in which her sisters huddle protectively around their mother. In the new work, her mother’s absence is palpable, London’s pearly light assuming a numinous dimension as her sisters contemplate their absent parent, a devout Christian who had used the hours spent in Paul’s studio for prayer.
|Duration||13 November 2019 - 20 December 2019|
|Venue||Victoria Miro (Wharf Road)|
|Address||16 Wharf Road, London, N1 7RW|
|Contact||/ firstname.lastname@example.org / www.victoria-miro.com|