Hus Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by English artist Purdey Fitzherbert. Afterimage, the artist’s second series of painted work, is concerned with recording the transient interactions of light, colour, and form when confronted with the subjectivity of vision. This is Fitzherbert’s inaugural solo exhibition at the gallery.
In this body of work, Fitzherbert presents us with a group of paintings that foreground the very limits of visual representation. Her abstract mixed-media canvases are highly detailed, multi-layered compositions that interact with each other, as well as with the light, presence and position of the viewer. Fitzherbert takes her inspiration for this series from afterimages, the optical illusion whereby an image continues to appear in one’s vision after the exposure to the original has ceased. Just as one experiences this illusion after looking into a light source for a few seconds, the same effect occurs when presented with the works on view, as Fitzherbert’s paintings trigger these impressions that last long after having left the room.
Fitzherbert’s focus on light’s power to reveal, conceal and manipulate what we see is fundamental to these works both thematically and stylistically. The detailed patterns of cells that appear on the surface of her works are the artist’s depiction of the tiny pixels of coloured light that make up everything that we see. Beneath these cells are layers of oil paint, metallic pigment, and spray paint that interact with one another in such a way that the work seems to be permanently shifting. As a result, engaging with Fitzherbert’s paintings require a certain movement of the body, a stretching up and stepping back that assigns to the viewer the responsibility to perform part of the work; it is this requirement of movement that allows Fitzhebert’s paintings to approach the three-dimensionality of sculpture.
Her paintings hover intangibly out of reach, endlessly trying to capture the fleeting moment where light momentarily transforms the everyday, yet simultaneously illustrating the inherent impossibility to stabilize subjective experience; the play of light across the canvas is neither defined nor permanent, and the enigmas of vision in nature are re-performed in each instance of beholding.
Purdey Fitzherbert (b.1987) completed her foundation studies at Wimbledon College of Art before completing a BA Degree with Honours in Fine Arts at Newcastle Univeristy. Fitzherbert has exhibited in group shows in Monaco, Gstaad, Switzerland, and London. She will also be exhibiting with Hus Gallery at SP-Arte, São Paulo International Art Fair and at the Dallas Art Fair in Spring 2014.
Purdey Fitzherbert, Afterimage, will be on show at Hus Gallery, 10 Hanover Street W1S 1YQ, London from 6 December 2013 – 18 January 2014.