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"Transparency": A group exhibition at Lynsdey Ingram

Updated: Jan 29

In the latest show at Lyndsey Ingram, physical and conceptual notions of transparency are deftly explored via the diverse programme of artists. Thank you to Lyndsey Ingram for supporting the following feature with research material and access to imagery.

Founded by its eponymous owner, Lyndsey Ingram has been a prominent fixture in the art world ecosystem, championing an expert balance of prestige and boundary-pushing new thinking. The gallery artists challenge conventional norms within a welcoming and democratic environment, where risks can be taken under the watchful guidance of an expert team.

"Transparency," explores the complicated technical approach to representing transparent materials, such as glass. Historically fascinated and inspired by transparency, David Hockney's Peonies in a Glass Vase (1998) is an example of Hockney using the still-life in new and inventive ways, showing his keen understanding of distortion and how light interacts with different surfaces. Simultaneously, artists break down the metaphorical dimensions of transparency, ultimately linking their approach to the technical with thematic navigation of how transparency can symbolise notions of absence, tension or disconnect. Both William Wright and Anna Calleja have created oil paintings which allow us to glimpse into their interior worlds, engaging their practice to tackle the physical display of transparency, whilst crafting a narrative to consider aspects of the aforementioned symbolic.

David Hockney, 'Peonies in a Glass Vase', Etching, 1998. Ed of 35.
David Hockney, 'Peonies in a Glass Vase', Etching, 1998. Ed of 35.

Wright’s Aquarium (2023) is a study of a domestic fish tank. Painted with his signature muted palette, the pool of water is clearly defined by the graphic lines used to shape the tank. There is a deliberate tension within the painting; the lone fish which swims close to the waterline highlights the empty space above where it cannot survive. This idea of water receding is also evident in Calleja’s A Sense of Ending (2023), where bathwater, slowly circling the drain, reveals the bottom of a porcelain bath tub. With a pair of empty slippers on the floor below, Calleja’s painting is mysterious in its ability to evoke a sense of absence.

William Wright, 'Aquarium', Oil on canvas, 2023.
William Wright, 'Aquarium', Oil on canvas, 2023

Windows recur as a motif for several of the artists in order to establish a narrative device. This idea, which stems from the Renaissance, allows the viewer to access two worlds within one painting. Jonas Wood’s monochromatic Pattern Couch Interior with Mar Vista View (2020) has a clear divide between the different patterns of interior fabrics and a denser outside background. Lottie Cole and Kathryn Maple create colourful compositions which show domestic architecture sitting harmoniously within both urban and rural landscapes. The windows are central to the compositions, something which Michael Craig-Martin in his restrained drawing Casement Window (2017), distils to its purest elements. Anna Freeman Bentley in contrast, creates paintings which are highly expressive and complex.

Anna Freeman Bentley, 'Backdrop', 2023. Courtesy of Lyndsey Ingram, 2024.

The range of medium in this show reinforces the diversity in exploring transparency, as well as the skill of the artist to do so in so many variations. The photographic works that come in forms such as cyanotype, C-print and photogravure render nuanced differences in the visual sense that pay close attention to the degree of transparency in the chosen subject. Kasmin's C-type colour print can capture the intriguingly complex visual nature of David Hockney Against the Kasmin Gallery Front Door (1965), whose accuracy is so critical to the impact of the image. In a related strategic decision, the print mediums which range from lithograph, to etching, to screenprint physically render transparent material as is loyal to the nature of the process in question. Louise Bourgeois's Glass Object (2004) shows expert ability to achieve the fragility and elegance of transparency in using drypoint, a linear and minimalistic form of markmaking.

Kasmin, 'David Hockney Against Glass at the Kasmin Gallery Front Door,' 1965. Courtesy of Lyndsey Ingram, 2024.

"Transparency" is yet another testament to the gallery's dedication to presenting art that stimulates the mind, captivates the senses, and poses intriguing questions surrounding physical art practice and conceptual reflection- championing a range of work sure to offer something of interest to each and every visitor.

"Transparency" is open at Lyndsey Ingram until 23 February. For a full list of works and more details on this exhibition, please click here.

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