Wednesday 12 October 2011

Art-iculate: Adam Neate at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms

 Adam Neate is one of my favourite artists for so many reasons that rather uncharacteristically are hard to put into words. I guess in short, he makes the kind of art that I could see myself making if I’d stuck with it and was actually any good. It’s fun, textured, witty, accessible and there is a tremendous amount of skill and innovativeness present in every piece.
Having stumbled upon his previous exhibition at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms back in 2009, I dropped by again last weekend to view the new exhibition, Dimensional Paintings.
Almost worried that he wouldn’t surpass my enlightenment after leaving his last exhibition, I’m relieved to say that Dimensional Paintings was just as poignant, seeing me stare at each work for a good five minutes, snapping away, moving on to the next to let other people look and then sneaking back to stare some more.
Now 33, self-taught Neate is a great ambassador for British art, with this solo exhibition running until the end of the month, coinciding with the Frieze Art Fair which opens to the public on tomorrow.
Comprised primarily of self-portraits, narrative compositions also feature heavily interweaving a plethora of mixed media including acrylic, metal, Perspex, and even a tie in one artwork.

Blown away by the colour, textures, angles and possibilities, this is the exhibition of one of the most genuinely gifted artists I’ve followed for a while and I love how cleverly the aesthetics mix different periods, such as cubism, pop and surrealism, all in a particular Neate blend.
“I wanted to drag what is perceived as painting forward to compete with the modern day barrage of visual media. As a society we are exposed to more and more visual imagery. In ten minutes on the internet a person can browse an entire world of images and instantly disregard images that hold no interest to them by the click of a button. During the past year I’ve taken my son to the cinema six times, to see six 3D films. His generation will grow up with an extra dimension in visual media – this language will be seen as the norm. I asked myself how can painting compete with this? With the ‘new’ painting the viewer will be able to walk around it; light, time and space will affect/ react with it. The new painting will exist! More than just depict.” Adam Neate

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