|Oliver Bancroft ~ 15 september to 15 october 2006 |
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Running the gamut from Piero di Cosimo to very early Cezanne via a bomb-blast in Iraq, without pausing for breath or looking anything like Peter Doig…
This will be Oliver Bancroft’s first solo London show.
After taking a BA and and MA in Fine Art at De Montfort University, Bancroft was included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2004, Young Masters 2005, and the show ‘The World, Abridged’ the same year at Kettle’s Yard.
The show will include film work as well as paintings. Not to demonstrate some flamboyant technical eclecticism – though there is flamboyance here – but to try and pick apart the symbiosis that Bancroft finds within the two practices. It isn’t a painterly film-maker we’re dealing with (that would be anathema) he’s an altogether rarer thing - a filmic painter, whose considerable painterly skills are informed by his strong cinematic intelligence.
In one set of works, against familiar Renaissance backgrounds: nothing. The backgrounds are all there is. We are brought up short, the figures have been removed – but not in that rhetorical or worse whimsical way that some po-mo’s do it. Bancroft’s scenes, co-opted from Fra Angelico, are sets in which the actors have simply walked out of shot. (Ironic and not remotely accidental that the new Humanism of the 15th century is obliterated, all human life vaporized, in our neutron bomb-blasted age).
As film sets themselves are re-worked and re-used these paintings are subjected to the very same process; painted over previous work whose ruts and brushstrokes now inhabit the surface of the board before us and whose presence is clearly visible at the bottom of each panel, wherever the new works’ proportions differ from the old.
The camera in its selective re-framing would surely avoid these impedimenta, whereas Bancroft the painter embraces them as elements in a new drama, testing the essential difference between cinematic and theatrical space. Painting is where the two coincide, as the edge bounds and challenges the picture-space. The edge is wherever the paint stops, but the picture continues far beyond it; into the next frame, the next camera angle, the next change of focus.
He picks a subject as though it were a location shoot, but then devotes himself entirely to the painting, and each painting is allowed to dictate its own style: this subject is painted in this way. With a passionate objectivity he is completely immersed in each medium. That there is no conflict between them is curious. And that there is often conflict within (as the subject of film or painting, whether actual or implied), is curiouser still.
Basra and Wonderland simultaneously.
For more information or images contact:
Michael Keenan on 07952 986 696