Open: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm

24 Howie Street, SW11 4AY, London, United Kingdom
Open: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm


Tim Allen: The Water In The Well

JGM Gallery, London

Thu 9 Mar 2023 to Sat 15 Apr 2023

24 Howie Street, SW11 4AY Tim Allen: The Water In The Well

Tue-Sat 11am-6pm

Artist: Tim Allen

JGM Gallery presents The Water In The Well, an exhibition of works on canvas and paper by Tim Allen.

Installation Views

Installation image for Tim Allen: The Water In The Well, at JGM Gallery Installation image for Tim Allen: The Water In The Well, at JGM Gallery

These are archetypal works by Allen in that they are vast and mesmeric, straddling the border between abstraction and representation. What signifies a novel approach by Allen is the added emphasis on transience and impermanence. This is conveyed, primarily, with the use of a grainer’s brush. The parallel markings achieved with this tool have previously been used by Allen to render a variety of atmospheric effects: Bacon-esque curtains, rippling air, reflective surfaces between the viewer and a horizon. In The Water In The Well, Allen uses them to establish rounded apertures. There are many associations that one might draw between these and a clock, or the orbit of a globe, but it is the brushstrokes themselves that most conveys this feeling of transience and the passage of time. Unlike the reduced landscape beneath, these openings are painted in a way that exposes their technical architecture. As Allen’s brush runs out of paint, he continues to drag it, conspicuously indicating where each mark begins and ends. That is, a chronology of movement and action is established.

There is also a melodic quality to these works, as the parallel lines seem to mimic blank staves. In this context the rest of the composition - the flecks of paint, layers upon layers of colour - can be thought of as the painting’s musical notes.

Allen says of the work that “... the brushstrokes that I use generate something that’s akin to the way that we experience the real world... because they allow for a complex layering which is very similar to how we sense depth or sense space. There’s a sense of tracking that allows the viewer to go on a journey with the work.”

If the viewer is made aware of time and impermanence by these spirals, then rectangles - usually established with a horizontal line cutting through the canvas - suggests something more spatial. In fact, were it not for these horizontal lines, a landscape might not be suggested at all. There is a solidity to these areas of colour, which clarifies what might otherwise be a somewhat confused arrangement. With these two shapes - rectangles and circles - Allen generates an aesthetic and conceptual tension, masterfully demonstrating his compositional instincts.

Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi, the Director of JGM Gallery, states that “Tim’s work has always had a profound effect on me. He has a consummate understanding of his craft and how it can push and prod the nervous system of his audience.”

There is, in these works, the aesthetic quality of a black hole, a sublime expression of the tension between time and space. When and where we are, however, is never clear.

Courtesy of the artist and JGM Gallery, London

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