V & A & A, with VANESSA JACKSON, ANNA BOGGON, AMANDA BENSON

VANESSA JACKSON, ANNA BOGGON, AMANDA BENSON

2 – 25 March

Andy Cohen is an artist we have known and shown and hugely respected for many years. It is with great delight that we have asked her to curate this show, with three artists we have worked with and admired since the beginning of studio1.1.

‘You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that’  Samuel Beckett

‘This show brings together three artists who on the surface couldn’t make work that looked more distinct from each other. Yet there are many links, other than an undeniable prowess. Formally speaking there’s informal geometry, rhythm runs thematically through the figuration of Boggon as much as the two abstract artists Benson and Jackson. All three have common ground in a belief that the only place you can have control in our nonsensical and sometimes unsightly world is in the studio.

Miro said: “I want to assassinate painting”, by which he meant he wanted to breathe new life into it. V&A&A reinvigorate the practice of art-making by an unrelenting curiosity and embracing vulnerability as a strength not a weakness. Jackson has talked of how Foucault reclaimed the use of the word ‘curiosity’ as an active term of engagement with the world, and that it embodies a form of concern: “it evokes the care one takes for what exists and could exist; a readiness to find strange and singular what surrounds us”. In divergent ways Benson, Boggon and Jackson take risks, wrecking then rescuing a piece, in all three traces of the world are in various stages of being expunged or put in the spotlight.

In urban slang she ‘killed it’ means to do something really well. So, if to assassinate art is to bring art to life, and modern experience to art, then these three artists have indeed killed it in this one act play we call ‘Life’.’

Andy Cohen 2018

Figure/ground. Here, if we take figure at its broadest we must take ground equally so – in Jackson where ground is colourspace, and where with geometry the figure is freed; Boggon where ground is set within the world itself and figures hold narratives within that social frame; Benson where literal space nevertheless folds into conceptual space via further intuitive physical geometries. A triangulation that elucidates (even by that which it leaves out) a constant within all art: not only figure, but also ground, and also context.