Henry Curchod: Set Your Friends Free

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Open: Wed-Fri noon-5pm, Sat 1pm-6pm by appointment

3 Endsleigh Street, WC1H 0DS, London, UK
Open: Wed-Fri noon-5pm, Sat 1pm-6pm by appointment


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Henry Curchod: Set Your Friends Free

London

Henry Curchod: Set Your Friends Free
to Sat 13 Nov 2021
Wed-Fri noon-5pm, Sat 1pm-6pm by appointment
Artist: Henry Curchod

MAMOTH is thrilled to present Set Your Friends Free, Sydney based artist Henry Curchod’s first exhibition in the UK.

Artworks

Debt free, 2019

Oil, charcoal and oil stick linen
183 x 152.5 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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The future belongs to those that wait, 2021

Oil, charcoal and oil stick linen
152.5 x 122 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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Healthy prisoners, 2021

Oil, charcoal and oil stick linen
106.5 x 91 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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Wake in fright, 2021

Oil, charcoal and oil stick linen
152.5 x 122 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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THX, 2021

Acrylic and oil stick linen
152.5 x 122 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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Not hearing, listening, 2021

Oil, charcoal and oil stick linen
152.5 x 183 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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Solutrean blunder, 2021

Oil, charcoal and oil stick linen
106.5 x 91 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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Turbine, 2021

Oil and acrylic on canvas
50 x 70 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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Athletic defecting, 2021

Oil, charcoal and oil stick linen
152.5 x 122 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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Frivolous, doing the rounds, 2021

Oil, acrylic, charcoal and oil stick linen
76.5 x 61 cm
© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

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The exhibition explores the notion of escape, and features depictions of human escape from restrictive circumstances and ambiguous scenes which evoke an indeterminate poetic freedom. Inspired by 12th century Persian miniature paintings, and Solutrean cave art, Curchod’s transportive paintings possess a fabulist quality. His paintings harness a contemporary yearning for unreality.

Not hearing, listening, 2021 begins with a head, its eyes closed as if sleeping. This is attached to a conference of limbs shaped like a figure of eight, the upper part, featuring two clutching arms, the lower circle has two legs similarly fused together, supporting two jutting out sandalled feet. The form hovers just above a canary yellow plane. A docile image, though somewhat perturbing, the hands gently clasping its ‘body’ could also be interpreted as supine solitude.

The use of oil stick on stretched linen, in combination with oil paint is a recent development in Curchod’s practice. With an oil stick he treats linen like paper, building up areas of colour with repeated strokes, a process which brings an unbridled exuberance and joy to a surface which he feels oil paint struggles with. Fusing drawing and painting, his work has a defined graphic quality and visceral texture.

In The future belongs to those that wait, 2021, a figure is rendered with their face turned away. The top half of their body slumped over a persian rug draped over a wire fence. Embodying the slow ‘wait’ of its title, the figure could be read as idle, the cocked leg could also be read as a body caught failing to mount an obstacle.

The meandering energies of his drawn lines are evident in the enigmatic image Wake in fright, 2021. Depicted from above (a recurring vantage point of his work) a hatted figure, reaches out with their left arm, their right leg planted, in a quasi-yogic pose. Their mirrored image is projected by a cast shadow. Reality is escaped as the figure and their shadow are tethered at the hand. The shadow form is cast onto a rich ochre earth, evoking the unmistakable landscape of Australia.

Curchod is the son of Kurdish-Iranian and Anglo-American parents, and whilst he acknowledges the importance of his heritage he prefers to focus on the universal. The universal has more potency, especially in relation to his protagonists-neither masculine or feminine, judged or revered, they are not pulled from life, but create the potential for life.

His belief in the power of the simple drawn line, mirrors the enigmatic potential of his non- contextualised subjects. Making a case for the transience of meaning, Curchod has stated that it is a process of ‘…finding the line between reduction and action. Finding the space between a lightness of drawing and the fullness of painting. I am trying to abandon the reliance on the reverence of liquid paint, in hope of achieving something more solid’.

Henry Curchod (b.1992, Palo Alto) lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Curchod obtained a BA/BFA from the University of New South Wales in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Sharing the Sky’, Sumer Gallery, Tauranga, New Zealand; ‘Inside head, outside head’, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, Australia (both 2021). Recent group exhibitions include: ‘It’s raining inside’, Lon Gallery, Melbourne Australia; ‘Strange Paradigm’, Yngspc (curated by Kate Mothes) *virtual exhibition; and ‘Nasha’, Nasha Gallery, Sydney, Australia. Curchod has been a finalist in: The Mosman Art Prize (2015); The Sulman Prize (2014); The Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing (2014); and was awarded the Fortyfive Emerging Art Award in 2017; The Cérét Residency, Languedoc-Rousillion, France and The JOYA Project Residency, Manilla, Philippines (both 2016).

© Henry Curchod. Courtesy of the artist and MAMOTH, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths


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