Alasdair Wallace, Hepzibah Swinford and Katherine Virgils: Harvest Moon

5 September - 8 October 2017
Mott Street, New York

Harvest Moon marks the turning of the season with a three-person exhibition of paintings, works on paper and sculpture by Hepzibah Swinford, Alasdair Wallace and Katherine Virgils.

 

Self-taught Hepzibah Swinford's subject is flowers. Rather than referencing garden spaces, Swinford imagines her blooms into voluptuous arrangements in antique vases, setting each against a scheme of psychedelic patterns. In all their endless diversity, Swinford's bouquets draw on contrasts of colour and texture, each painting almost synaesthetic in quality. 

 

The daughter of the painter Dora Holzhandler, Swinford grew up between London and Scotland, surrounded by Oriental art. The influence of this, along with her own collection of antique pottery, is felt in her works. Her vessels evoke Ming and Meissen, satsuma, cloisonne, cranberry, art deco and the Middle East. These elements are coupled with references to fabric patterns from William Morris to Bauhaus. Each oil painting is then housed in a reclaimed gilt Old Masters frame. Regularly exhibiting at New York's Outsider Art Fair, Swinford will follow Harvest Moon with an exhibition of new paintings at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery in London.

 

Swinford's work will be joined by bronze sculpture and paintings by Scottish artist Alasdair Wallace. Depicting 'edgelands' - the fringes of manmade settings - using textured layers of acrylic paint, the worlds that Wallace portrays seem initially familiar. And yet, each landscape is cluttered with surreal props in odd juxtapositions - drum kits, gliders, axes, saws, shopping bags, cutlery in puddles. His scenes are made strange and transformed into dreamscapes. 

 

Wallace exhibits regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy. His work was included in the major survey show of Scottish painting at the Fleming Collection gallery in London in 2009. More recently, Wallace participated in the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour's annual show, where he was awarded two prizes, the House for an Art Lover Prize and the Walter Scott Prize.

 

The exhibition will also include paper and pigment yogis by Katherine Virgils. First encountering the sacred imagery in the form of frescoes in a derelict temple in Jodhpur, India, Virgils reimagines her subject, using ancient methods and new technology alike. Indian miniature painting and gold leaf are blended with earth pigments, whilst the scale of each yogi is radically altered, the imagery becoming more resonant with a 21st century audience.