Dellasposa is proud to present a new exhibition of still-life paintings by the provocative contemporary artist, Darren Coffield, alongside portraits by the rising portrait painter, Isabella Watling.
In Pursuit of Things Past offers a Proustian meditation on time, memory, and the aesthetic impulse.The exhibition is open to the public from Monday 10th April to Saturday 6th May 2017 at 10 Shepherd Street, London, W1J 7JE.
Unveiling a new series of paintings by Darren Coffield, the artist uses as his motif still-life paintings after the 18th century French artist, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779). Considered the master of still-life, Chardin’s paintings were so influential to the French writer Marcel Proust that the novelist expounded upon the beauty of everyday objects as inspiring moments of revelation in his ekphrasis essay, ‘Chardin and Rembrandt’, written in 1895. The ordinary can be extraordinary, if only one is able pause and see it as extraordinary. Here, the artist imbues the everyday world with new meaning through his unique observation of the world around him.
Darren Coffield draws parallels with Proust’s rumination on time past and time present by examining how we see and perceive the world around us. Coffield's still-life compositions are painted and then reassembled as a jigsaw, subverting the viewer’s expectations by piecing his still-life paintings together with its own constituent elements now distorted through the lens of memory and relational perspective. These encrypted images raise fundamental issues regarding the veracity of reality to appearance, consumption and corruption, knowledge and memory.
Coffield’s early Proustian portraits are also featured in the exhibition. Here, one can see the artist’s provocation with Old Master paintings. Taking the Bellini’s Madonna of the Meadow, he obscures the subject's visage with pixelated abstraction, while disrupting ourthe iconographic status of the painting with an irreverent day-glow halo and every man walking his dog appears in the background. These early works see the artist’s fascination with portraiture; capturing the vanity of figures now unknown in memorial. The unknown and forgotten identity of figures left hanging in the museum, like Velásquez's Prince Baltasar Carlos in Silver and Lady with a Fan, are now rendered and subsumed into the work of art itself.
Alongside Coffield’s portraits are recent works by the young apprentice to Velásquez and Titian, Isabella Watling. Trained at the Charles H. Cecil studio in Florence – the oldest artist atelier in Europe, where da Vinci is known to visit – Watling practices the sight-size technique of painting. She continues to paint from life, following in the footsteps of the Old Masters, by considered observation of her subjects; a vision in unison with memory, which expresses the greater reality of light, colour, and form. Here, the visual language of art evolves from the past to the present through silence and slow time - exhibiting to us a vision more complete, more seizing, more probing than reality itself.
We look forward to welcoming you to the exhibition and invite you to enjoy the sight of these paintings, on view for a limited time, in the heart of Mayfair, London