We are pleased to present ‘Ages of Innocence’, an exhibition of paintings by two contemporary artists: Aron Wiesenfeld and Christopher Noulton.
Aron Wiesenfeld is an American painter renowned for enigmatic work. His figures in solitary landscapes capture a sense of departure and of leaving innocence behind. Decidedly contemporary, the scenes are redolent of disaffected youth, alienated from society and adrift in magical environments, be it floating on boats amidst glittering leaves or swarmed by a flamboyance of butterflies in a field. At the same time they are also deeply informed by the history of painting: his elongated figures echo the Mannerism of El Greco; sunset waters, the Impressionism of Monet. The influence of American painting also flows strongly through his work: a girl on a rock recalls Andrew Wyeth’s ‘Christina’ turned around to face us, and the sparse solitude of Edward Hopper finds a new voice, albeit tempered with a sense of the fantastical. Wiesenfeld’s work brings these diverse influences together in paintings that explore the experience of uncertainty, and the abandonment of the familiar for a journey into the unknown.
Christopher Noulton is a British painter who creates an imaginary world from idealised fragments of the past. It is a playful place of lush green fields and art deco architecture, where dressed-up characters relive a version of England long lost. Play exists on many levels: in the bird’s eye view that observes toy-like vehicles speeding through tidy landscapes; in the mischievous characters who vandalise bucolic villages and then sneak away; and in the Barbarella-like figure who cuts armies of paper soldiers in defence of her childhood fortress. This is all presented in a half-light that evokes the mistiness of memory, whilst lending the work a cryptic undercurrent. The inscrutability of the actors’ motives recalls how unintelligible the adult world is to a child. Cutting is mysteriously abundant, of paper, of topiary trees, even in how the evergreen landscapes and motifs recur pattern-like across the paintings. Noulton’s peculiar vision constitutes an imperfect recreation of innocence tinged with the complexities of adulthood, and explores how nostalgia for simpler times can relate to a longing for the unfettered freedom of play.
‘Ages of Innocence’ opens on Thursday 6 February, 6:30 – 8:30pm.