Pi Artworks is pleased to present Upright Animal, the inaugural exhibition of London-based painter Selma Parlour at Pi Artworks, where she joins our roster of international artists. All of the works are new and never before exhibited. The show is curated by Sacha Craddock who participated in the gallery’s latest curatorial season with the exhibition Strike Site.
Selma Parlour’s immaculate paintings carry a level of composure, comprehension and confusion within them; logic and association collide, clash and then walk side by side. –Sacha Craddock
Parlour’s recent paintings have pristine surfaces that project an extraordinary level of luminous colour. Through the gossamer-like application of the oil, so intrinsic to her practice, Parlour enables colour to appear as a veil rather than a skin, subtly revealing each decision she makes. Soft fields of colour are punctuated by shaded bands with exacting graphic finesse. The paintings carry sharp diagrammatic shapes and moments that isolate and juxtapose certain hues in order to accentuate the sensation that they are dyed or printed. Parlour’s work possesses multiple paradoxes; the transparent colour in concert with the white ground beneath, creates the illusion that the paintings are in fact screens, and the work is otherworldly, imbued with the artist’s illusory and tactile process.
Parlour shows how abstract painting can be mediated by its related processes and conventions. In her new series Detail Shot (2017), tablet-size works pose as detail photographs of paintings, seemingly reproduced segments from other paintings in the show, or conceivable fragments from the real world. Colour study. Slide to scroll I (2017) is a triptych in which the sequential units of colour, arranged like Apple’s iOS home screen layout, allude to the swiping touch with which we have become so familiar. Upright animal (2017) is a series of large ‘human-size’ paintings that imitate and challenge the austerity of the white cube gallery space. Here, Parlour’s shaded bands form architectural shapes where impenetrable spaces, doors and walls are able to slide like minimal stage sets.
Selma Parlour (London) completed her PhD in Art at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2014. In 2017, Parlour was the recipient of the Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist at the Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London; and in 2016, was a Prizewinner at the John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Gallery, Liverpool. Exhibitions include Parlour Games (solo), Marcelle Joseph Projects, House of St Barnabas, London (2016); Paradoxes of the Flattened-Out Cavity (solo), Dio Horia, Mykonos (2015); Selma Parlour (solo), MOT International Projects, London (2012); Selma Parlour and Yelena Popova, Horton Gallery, New York (2012); and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA, London (2011). In 2014, Parlour was selected for Thames and Hudson’s international competition and publication 100 Painters of Tomorrow. Collections include the Creative Cities Collections, Beijing and the Saatchi Gallery, London.
Sacha Craddock (London) is a writer, curator and educator. She is a frequent panelist and speaker on current issues in contemporary art for galleries, museums and institutions. Recent texts include essays on Wolfgang Tillmans, Alison Wilding, Laura Ford, Mark Boulos, Gillian Wearing, Benjamin Senior, Angus Fairhurst, Richard Billingham, Edgar Davids, Mustafa Hulusi, Heri Dono and Rosa Lee. She is co-curator of this year's Turner Prize and is a previous judge of the John Moore's Prize (2008) the Turner Prize (1999), Discerning Eye (2016) and Spectrum Art Prize (2017). Craddock has been the Chair of the Board of New Contemporaries since 1996. She co-founded Artschool Palestine and is co-founder and member of Faculty at British School at Rome, Trustee of the Shelagh Cluett Trust and Executive Committee Member of AICA. She is co-founder of Bloomberg Space and was its curator from 2002-2011. She is currently working on a publication about the changing attitudes to contemporary art in Britain, commissioned by Reaktion Books.
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