Josh Lilley is pleased to present Tofu Dealer (to kill my hunger in daytime wander), Nicholas Hatfull’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
Hatfull is a thinker in the flaneur tradition, an urban rambler with an open, kinky, catholic eye. His paintings of modern life, via all the things that aren’t people, are both dissociative and total. Over here they are brushy and impressionistic, as if a grazed encounter or gauzy memory; over there as direct as advertising, sharp and clear for cultureless commercial sear. He makes room on a single canvas for these forms, textures and attitudes to collide. And between these elements is the residue they leave upon each other, us, and the world.
Hatfull’s new paintings reveal the artist’s most experimental inclinations, a restless reshuffling of elements (furniture foam, food containers from chain restaurants, Magnum ice creams, playground structures, etc.) through which the artist calibrates a personal offbeat, absurdist lyricism. Stains are important—they speak of forms revealing themselves and consuming themselves at the same time. Vessels are important—they hold a charge. In a series of so-called Bain-Marie sculptures exhibited alongside the paintings, tumbles of nested fast-food hot-pot tubs romantically swirled with paint represent creation, emergence, as well as absolute gluttony and waste. It’s a turbulent business, life. The exhibition is accompanied by a 64-page zine of visual reference points and an extended artist’s text, Feast of burden, about Yasujiro Ozu, David Hammons and McDonald’s.
Nicholas Hatfull (born 1984, Tokyo, lives and works in London) graduated from the Royal Academy Schools in 2011 and was the Sainsbury scholar in Painting and Sculpture, British School at Rome, 2011–2012. Previous solo exhibitions include Tall Grass (Expert Pruning in Ethiopia), Josh Lilley, London 2014, ORSO River Grave (No Rush Before Dawn), Margini Arte Contemporanea, Massa, 2013, Solo River Grave, Peles Empire, London, 2012 and Ignorant with the Suncream (Seafroot Delivery), Karsten Schubert, London, 2009. Selected group shows include Parallax Scrolling, Breese Little, London, 2017, Through the Wall (with Victor Willing), Josh Lilley, 2015, Pre-pop to Post-human: Collage in the Digital Age, curated by Isobel Harbison, Hayward Touring, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, 2014, Open Heart Surgery, Moving Museum, London, 2013, D’Après Giorgio, curated by Luca lo Pinto, Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico, 2012, Re generation, MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, 2012, and Newspeak: British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2010.