Paul Nash (1889-1946), was once notorious as an English Surrealist, but he is now one of the most admired of modern British artists. The exhibition will bring together around sixty of his finest paintings and watercolours, from the whole of his career. The paintings will include his outstanding work as a war artist in both World Wars together with a selection of his own photographs, which will be shown with his photographic collages. The exhibition includes interiors, abstracts and still lives, as well as the landscapes for which he is best known.
Many of Nash’s landscapes show a path through or between elements. Figures enter a wood or cross a threshold into a different region. While he was living behind the huge sea defences at Dymchuch in Kent, he painted the narrow causeway running into the distance between land and sea. He drew trees as a remote nesting place, and painted birds as if they were human souls finding nests in clouds. Nash looked for what he called ‘equivalents’ between differing elements of nature, in a search for harmony between them. The balance of design and colour that he found within the natural world of sea, stone, earth and sky lead to some of his most emotionally moving paintings. Many of these, particularly his last paintings, incorporate cosmic elements of sun and moon.
The South London Gallery presents the first London solo project by German artist Susanne Bürner. This new video work is shown as a special evening event accentuating its performative aspects following which it will be on show until 18 December.
LEAVES reveals an empty stage alluding to an anticipated action. Using elements of cinematographic language such as long shot sequences and depth of field, the film portrays the sensation of prolonged suspense. LEAVES presents a meadow surrounded by trees as a pre-defined location of action in which nothing is performed. In this way the set becomes the negative image of the missing action.
Susanne Bürner’s videos investigate the representation of the invisible. Exploring the possibilities of the existence of a psychological, emotive dimension in film, the work examines the boundaries between physical and psychological space in the context of film-making. The absence of narratives, the stillness and slow motion of the images contributes to the evocation of ‘atmosphere’ and accentuates the sensation of ‘waiting for something’. Therefore what happens behind the image becomes subject to the viewer’s own imagination. The creation of ‘atmosphere’ in the works is reinforced by specially composed soundtracks which have been made in collaboration with musicians Steve Trafford (ex-The Fall) and Eliav Brand
Bürner’s practice spans photography and film-making, mainly exploring the relationship between artists’ film-making and cinema. The presentation of her videos often takes the form of single channel installations sometimes including objects and photographs such as for her recent film Embodied Truth (2008).
South London Gallery, 65 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH
Gallery open Tuesday – Sunday 12-6pm. Closed Mondays.