Breakfast viewing. Saturday 23 February, 9.30am-12noon
“I was taken to see Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais, high on a pedestal outside the Houses of Parliament. As a smaller, younger person, all I could reach were their giant bronze feet, which I touched in wonder, amazed at the size of their toes.”
Alice Browne’s first solo-show at Tintype Found, presents recent paintings, works on paper and objects. This new body of work explores our relationship to earth, discovery and ownership.
In 1955 George Bataille gave a lecture about the finding of the Lascaux caves fifteen years earlier by three teenage boys; “…the truth is that, as one of the boys recently told me, the cave being absolutely amazing, they immediately felt like someone discovering a treasure, a casket of diamonds or a cascade of precious gems. They thought their fortune was immediately made.”
Profiting and sharing, plunder of land and its precious metals and minerals; caves, quarries, mines – the space below can be viewed as a place of darkness, danger and dirt, the caverns of hell – and yet – as with the Lascaux Caves – also as places of great discovery and encounter.
Browne is interested in the complexity of responses to the space beneath our feet. She has made a series of paintings resulting from experiences and thoughts regarding the desire of humans to understand, measure and share the wealth of the earth. The work in Found is inspired by visits to entrance-fee paying caves in France and Majorca, the slate quarries of North Wales, and the writing of Georges Bataille.
With a nod to Tintype’s former life as a shop and in reference to the gift shops that spring up when caves are commercialised, Browne is making a series of plaster cast, hand-painted toes that serve as tea light holders to be displayed in the gallery window. The toe – revered by Bataille as the misshapen, overlooked point of human connection to the earth and admired by Browne in the ‘giant’ feet of Rodin’s Burghers – takes on a symbolic significance.
Alice Browne’s paintings and works on paper occupy multiple planes and visual languages with colour always leading or even dictating form, “colours themselves create their own spaces within the painting”. Layering, playing with space, flatness and perspective are consistent preoccupations, but in these new works there is a strong feeling of weight and balance – a sense of being taken into a physical space; wedge shapes, triangles, hints of stairs, ladders, measuring tape, hands, cogs and wheels – hover and beckon.
ALICE BROWNE lives and works in London. She studied at Wimbledon College of Art and the Royal College of Art.
Selected recent solo and group shows include: Invitation to a Rave by Mark Titchner, The Nunnery, London UK; Layers, Global Committee, Brooklyn, US (both 2018); Forecast, Limoncello, London, UK (2016); struc////, OUTPOST, Norwich, UK (2015); Project Space, Prosjektrom Normanns, Stavanger, Norway (2014); In Place, Limoncello, London, UK; Sequence, annarumma, Naples, Italy; A country road. A tree, Evening, Fjord Gallery, Philadelphia, US; QUATTRO, Interno 4, Bologna, Italy (all 2013); We Love You, Limoncello, London; Young British Art curated by Ryan Gander & Christina von Rotenhan, dienstgebäude, Zurich, Switzerland; And Then Supercollider, Blackpool, UK (all 2012); Limoncello Green, Limoncello, London; Creekside Open 2011, selected by Dexter Dalwood, APT Gallery, London, UK; Nothing Fixed, Marcelle Joseph Projects, London, UK (all 2011); New Contemporaries 2010, A Foundation, Liverpool and ICA, London, UK.
Residencies and Awards: New Contemporaries Studio Bursary with Hospitalfield, 2017; 2016 -17 Land Securities Studio Award and Bursary with Bow Arts Trust.Courtesy of the artist and Tintype, London