Open: Wed-Sat 12-6pm

117-119 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1XA, London, United Kingdom
Open: Wed-Sat 12-6pm


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Emily Kraus: Nest Time

The Sunday Painter, London

Thu 27 Apr 2023 to Sat 10 Jun 2023

117-119 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1XA Emily Kraus: Nest Time

Wed-Sat 12-6pm

Artist: Emily Kraus

The Sunday Painter presents Emily Kraus’ solo exhibition Nest Time. The exhibition is Kraus’ first solo show at the gallery and presents an ambitious new body of work that further develops her Stochastic series.


Installation Views

Installation image for Emily Kraus: Nest Time, at The Sunday Painter Installation image for Emily Kraus: Nest Time, at The Sunday Painter Installation image for Emily Kraus: Nest Time, at The Sunday Painter Installation image for Emily Kraus: Nest Time, at The Sunday Painter Installation image for Emily Kraus: Nest Time, at The Sunday Painter Installation image for Emily Kraus: Nest Time, at The Sunday Painter Installation image for Emily Kraus: Nest Time, at The Sunday Painter

Kraus works inside a metal cubic structure around which she stretches a raw canvas loop with no end, allowing for space to move around her body, rather than the other way around. She first invented the apparatus to reconfigure the spatial constraints of her assigned eight-by-eight foot studio at London’s Royal College of Art, but has since recognised how its restrictions have served as the starting point for an entirely new approach to her practice. The mechanism itself – and the canvas loop which she manually rotates around the frame – can be interpreted as a metaphor for the cyclical world. Her method is characterised by a continuous oscillation between periods of impromptu, active mark-making and moments of meditative rumination. The resulting paintings are aptly termed Stochastic, meaning that they are formed of seemingly random probability distributions that can be played upon, but ultimately yield unpredictable results.

On the ground floor of the gallery, three towering canvases – each stretching four metres tall and three metres wide – envelop the architecture that hosts them. Here, the space mirrors both the transportive and contemplative nature of Kraus’ paintings, acting as a portal to an alternate state of being. Due to the constricted dimensions of space during her making process, Kraus can only hypothetically construct the appearance of the full paintings in her mind. She explains: “Using this apparatus is like painting with blinders on. I hold the memory of surrounding marks as I focus on what I can see, forcing my eyes to layer linear time like ears do when composing a musical score. This process forces me to remain with the present moment."

Each work requires prolonged periods of deliberation as Kraus introduces more paint to the rollers, which spreads, grows and confines itself within structured repeating lines that layer themselves over and over again. New marks and shapes gradually acquire meaning, often exhibiting an organic quality resembling the repetitive – yet never quite identical – motifs akin to the ever-changing patterns found in nature. Upon closer inspection, this pattern-like iconography might recall the sinuous texture of snakeskin, an intricate network of veins, or the fluctuations of an increased heart rate. From afar, one might even recognise the warping frequencies of audio waveforms as their signal varies in strength.

Informed by her extensive background in meditative, yogic and somatic practices, Kraus’ process is distinctly contemplative and reflective in nature. To create an organic image within a rigid system requires listening, attention and choreography of movement. The works included in Nest Time, then, reflect a continuous and cyclical universe, shaped by our ability to construct our lives amidst the tangible and often constrained realities of our existence. The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive essay by Alan Dorin, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, whose extensive research examines stochastic processes in the realm of art and creativity.

Emily Kraus (b. 1995) received her Painting MA from the Royal College of Art in London (2022) and a BA in Religious Studies from Kenyon College (2017). Recent exhibitions include: Matija Čop and Emily Kraus, Sapling Gallery, London, 2023,Young and Restless, the Stable Gallery S-chanf, Switzerland, 2023, A Body of Work,Grove Collective, London 2022, My Mother was a Computer, Indigo+Madder,London 2022, and Shadows, The Stable, S-chanf, Switzerland 2022. This year, Kraus won the Hopper Prize (2023). Kraus’ works are in the collections of the Royal College of Art, the Simon Nixon Foundation, and the X Museum.

Courtesy of the artist and The Sunday Painter, London

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