I Paint Outside The LinesFrieze Week 2023
In 1907, when Picasso, Braque and Herbin presented their first cubist paintings in Paris, they opened a door that has never been shut since. Art could take on another form than the purely figurative one it historically had. As artists pushed the boundaries of this new idea, paintings became fully abstract, at times completely monochrome, at times completely bare, burned or slashed. Some called it the death of painting. Flash forward a century later, painting is still alive, perhaps more now than ever. Movements have arguably been lost, giving way to pure artistic freedom. No need to follow your peers, join a school of theory or write manifestos. Yet, two terms have remained and emerged as the main labels for the art world to divide its artists: abstract vs figurative. This extreme division has existed since abstraction became the mainstream form of painting after the second world war.
As neither one dominates the art world, it is our belief that in the last decade a new wave of artists has emerged, artists that have decided to exist in neither category, outside the lines. These painters are inspired by the tangible, by everyday life and experiences. They thrive on what’s real and concrete. However, they choose to represent it in a less figurative way. They blur the image, or, like the cubists, some simplify its representation, and others make the interpretation more complex. Some are driven by pure emotion, others by intense research. Each process is different, but they are linked together, connected by their independence, by their freedom and ability to remain unlabelled. The abstract and the figurative both live in harmony, dialogue or conflict within their works, but they are both present and absent from their paintings at the same time. A chosen limbo, full of exploration, courage, and deprived of boundaries. Borderless.
This exhibition is for them.
Participating Artists: Gioele Amaro, Hugo Capron, Michele Fletcher, Elise Lafontaine, Kyara Van Meel, Guilia Messina, Jemima Murhy, Wenhai Ning, Matt Phillips, Nevena Prijic, Kolja Kartner Sainz, Katherine Qiyu Su, Brach Tiller, Xiuching Tsay