During Frieze Week 2012, I spent a few days with Kings Cross gallery, All Visual Arts; their satellite show Metamorphosis blew me away and I’ve been hooked on their shows since. Every exhibition carries an air of mystery, from the morbid ceramics of Bertozzi e Casoni to their contemporary drawing show Between The Lines, for some reason this gallery’s exhibitions always hit a nerve.
Currently on show is a collection of Jonathan Wateridge’s work, having moved back to All Visual Arts – the artist’s representing gallery – from L&M Arts in LA. The collection is only viewable by appointment for a short period, and like the artist this show is modest – but absolutely worth visiting. Wateridge’s style has developed from his slightly brash, artificially-lit scenes into a softer style – almost like a photographer whose camera has lost focus, or discovered a new medium in switching from the clean shapes of digital to the evocative tactility of analogue film.
Wateridge’s new works are mesmerizing in their simplicity: a triptych of a man’s suited shoulders so rich that you can almost feel the fine threads of the jacket; the wire mesh of a tennis court scored in sharp white dashes, pulled tight and hot in the blazing sunlight.
The show is comprised of cropped, almost abstract pieces, as well as the portraits and larger pieces which characterize Wateridge’s career. A young artist, this show evidences the way that his style is developing – his most recent work displaying a more sombre tone and velveteen finish.
Although Wateridge only began exhibiting nine years ago, having rejected painting for almost fifteen years, his work shows no sign of being underdeveloped or amateur. Instead it is self-assured, unapologetic and sublimely crafted. A true modern master.
Jonathan Wateridge is at AVA until the 15th June.
Images courtesy of L&M Arts