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Nick Goss

Green Lanes

Green Lanes. It sounds pastoral, nostalgic, faintly utopian – like some network of ancient drovers’ tracks and holloways that endures furtively in a pocket of deep England. But Green Lanes could hardly be further from such a place: it is a drawn-out urban thoroughfare, which slices for miles through the suburbs of north London, abutted by old retail parades, housing estates and supermarkets, by ranks of semi-detached houses and parks that renounced their claims to rural retreat well over a century ago.

24 September 2020

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Christof Mascher

Presence Above All

Christof Mascher’s Street turns river, a 2015 painting in oil on board, is an urban nocturne washed with the pale purply blue that belongs only to a clear night beneath a big moon. Gas streetlamps set cream-coloured orbs on either side of the scene, repoussoir glass gems from a European city of the 1820s. A boulevard carves through the landscape, parcelling it up. The painting is tight, everything in its proper place.

7 September 2020

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Gareth Cadwallader

Painting in the world, around the world

Shortly after the opening of Half-Lowered Eyelids, his first solo exhibition at Josh Lilley in January 2019, Gareth Cadwallader left his South London home to paint in the world. A painter with a meticulous, private methodology in art and life, the following images are all that we know about the genesis of the three works ultimately presented at Art Basel Miami Beach in December of that year.

25 August 2020

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Nicholas Hatfull

Sky and vapour

Josh Lilley first showed Nicholas Hatfull's iPad sky drawings — unique archival pigment prints on Somerset paper, modest but glowing — in the 2019 group show of painters' preparatory works Preparing for What. A year later we are proud to introduce and offer the first large oils derived from this daily digital practice.

25 August 2020

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Derek Fordjour

SHELTER

SHELTER, Derek Fordjour's 2020 solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, was both a compact survey of the artist's recent work and a site-specific installation that placed the viewer in a position of temporary safety from a heavy storm.

25 August 2020

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Ryan Mosley

What People Do

A year ago, Ryan Mosley was approached by the Contemporary Art Society, a heritage charity and consultancy that acquires British artworks for public display around the nation, to submit a proposal for the lobby of a skyscraper growing in London. This skyscraper, 22 Bishopsgate, would be second in size, nationwide, to Renzo Piano’s Shard, and would dwarf the landmarks of the city’s colossus-choked financial center. Paintings, thought this painter of paintings, would not fit for this space.

25 August 2020

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Ian Davis

Cruise Ship

Initiated in late 2019 and finished in June 2020, Ian Davis’ Cruise Ship evolved through a changing global reality, and the artist's iconic figures in matching clothes never arrived, never populated the scene. The cruise ship became a ghost ship — its trajectory, its past and its future, elusive. The rippling wake signals motion, but its unclear who is steering.

24 August 2020

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Nicholas Hatfull

An Autumn Afternoon

There’s an alley that reappears in Nicholas Hatfull’s recent paintings. It is an alley from An Autumn Afternoon (1962), Yasujirō Ozu’s final film.

24 August 2020

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Kathleen Ryan

The Journey of Bad Melon (Party Girl)

Altogether more moist and pulpy than the citrus fruits with which the series debuted at Josh Lilley in October 2018, the Bad Melon works conjure another tangible, tactile aspect of ‘badness’.

24 August 2020

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Kathleen Ryan

Ghost Palm

Kathleen Ryan’s Ghost Palm was commissioned in 2019 for the second edition of the biennial Desert X, an exhibition of site-responsive artworks in Southern California’s Coachella valley in the spring of 2019. A lifesize rendering of the Washingtonia filifera (desert palm) in steel, plastics and glass, Ghost Palm sat along the San Andreas Fault, the meeting point of two tectonic plates.

24 August 2020

Installation view of Expert Advice at Josh Lilley, presenting Ian Davis
Installation view of Expert Advice at Josh Lilley, presenting Ian Davis
Installation view of Expert Advice at Josh Lilley, presenting Ian Davis
Installation view of Expert Advice at Josh Lilley, presenting Ian Davis
Installation view of Expert Advice at Josh Lilley, presenting Ian Davis
Installation view of Expert Advice at Josh Lilley, presenting Ian Davis
Installation view of Expert Advice at Josh Lilley, presenting Ian Davis
Installation view of Expert Advice at Josh Lilley, presenting Ian Davis

Artworks

History of Nature by Ian Davis, 2016
Surveillance by Ian Davis, 2015
Narcissists by Ian Davis, 2015
Condos by Ian Davis, 2016
Architects by Ian Davis, 2016
Construals by Ian Davis, 2016
Eating by Ian Davis, 2015
Delegates by Ian Davis, 2014
Projection by Ian Davis, 2014

Ian Davis

Expert Advice

15 July – 13 August 2016

Josh Lilley is pleased to present Expert Advice, the first exhibition in the UK for Los Angeles-based painter Ian Davis.

For 15 years Davis has made detailed pictures of men in groups. They are identically dressed in vocational clothes, business suits, lab coats, clerical frocks, hi-vis vests or military drab. They research and design, they assess disasters imminence and aftermath, and they amass and protect resources. Despite the outward appearance of purpose, the men are bystanders.

The paintings are executed in clean, graphic acrylic layers establishing vast architecture and nature, then finished with brushy filigree on sometimes hundreds of faces. Davis continues an artistic tradition of awe and desperation that spans Bruegels Tower of Babel through Martin Kippenbergers The Happy End of Franz Kafkas Amerika. Plans will go nowhere. Designs for solutions will be ignored. Man is unable to address anything. Time stops. Davis vignettes can be sited at any point in the past 50 years.

Complex, considered geometry tightens the psychological effect of the scenes. Davis symmetry is not sacred, or cosmic, but neurological. Geometry here is an overarching mechanism, a loom pulling us into lines like Thomas Baryle's delirious skins or the atom-bomb angst of Salvador Dali's late-period Nuclear Mysticism, where images float as exploded units, in total sync but never to touch. Davis provides actors, location and motivation, the ingredients of a narrative, only to see it overwhelmed and stymied by the all-encompassing strength of an order that man has built for himself. The artist's compositions hum with a balance that is both serene and unsettling.

Being incensed and powerless at the same time is a 2016 feeling, in our UK and in the artists US. Davis depicts ritual behaviour enacted with total devotion by men of power and influence. He builds structures for these men. The careerlong painter of political allegory limns the world of entrenched bureaucracy, he lives inside it with brush at the canvas, to feel for its contours and find its flaws. He depicts the shape of our world. In this he finds purpose, and a means of having a voice.

Ian Davis (b. 1972 Indianapolis, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Davis graduated with a BFA from Arizona State University, and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2005.