Paige Perkins paints nature red in tooth and claw, but it is human nature that she principally studies: humanity revealed through different (often animal) guises. There may be something nasty in the woodshed, but there’s worse out beyond the fence at the bottom of the garden, where the wild wood fronts up to supposed civilization. She investigates the treacherous edge of things, speculates on the smile that might be a snarl. In her imagery there is often propinquity that isn’t sexual; in fact, sexuality in its obvious modern mode has little place here. Passion is evident though, and a fluid sense of identity.
Moments of vision are unpredictable and incalculable. They come unbidden and vanish equally abruptly. All the artist can do is put herself in a state of readiness and receptivity, and look within herself. Why do these figures and animals, the staffage or dramatis personae of her tableaux, need to group and re-group in such significant situations? Incongruity and improvisation are key strategies, as is the juxtaposition of supposedly unrelated components. Her paintings may be unstructured and unplanned, but they find their own logic, their own composition, almost in spite of the freedom offered by the artist.
- Andrew Lambirth
private view: 6-8pm
Friday 14th January
15th - 24th January
10am - 6pm
46 Great Titchfield Street, London