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Beginnings - Brick Lane Gallery (preview)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Beginnings, a solo show by Rebecca Taber who, this month, is returning from her residency at Can Serrat in Barcelona, will run from May 25 to June 24, 2007, at The Brick Lane Gallery.

Although Taber’s painting has always demonstrated the influence of the post-impressionists, the new works on show will demonstrate not only a broadening of influence to include the great Spanish painters Goya and Velasquez, but also a sharpening of the artists key concerns for revealing the hidden connections and inherited legacies which lie behind the world as we tend to perceive it.

Drawing on her own experiences in Spain and the wealth of raw material she has gathered there, Taber’s most recent works touch on the stark directness, the brutality of the transitory moment, effectively drawing out the unrefined seams of emotional memory that remain with us like scars throughout our lives- which Taber calls ‘souvenirs’- bonding us directly to our history, and to each other.

These concerns have always been the focus of Taber’s art, going back to her first studies in photography, where her fascination for meta-narratives, the secret and the hidden, initiated her first steps into her corpus of enquiry.

Her most recent work utilises a careful layering of both figurative and abstract elements, utilising both automatic techniques and careful study, incorporating expansive spatial thinking with a minimal deployment of the written word and the found object in order to communicate effectively this central premise, which dovetails neatly into a wealth of both literary and philosophical history – of a higher realm of experience, in which all is intricately connected in a web of shared experience and emotion.

The new accomplished ability with which Taber executes this synthesis between history and contemporary incidence is exemplified by the vibrant and vivacious beginnings – a wild, expansive, lyrical painting which demonstrates a studied influence of Kandinsky, fused with an in depth knowledge of the work of the Colourists – a synthesis of style and a conflagration of enormous energy which Taber nonetheless controls, and makes her own.

These paintings demonstrate an essential paring down, a honing, of the artist’s scope and intentions, and in direct proportion to it, an intensification of vision, which reveals a broad and specific emotional scope, ranging from life to death, love to hate, and touching on areas of experience, which are universal in nature.

Desire – the great chain of the world, according to Transcendental belief – serves as the keynote throughout this series. Pungent and palpable throughout the patterns and silhouettes of naked figures and exposed covert vignettes which shape this series, interweaving each micro-narrative with its fellows, the cycle of human want connects and exposes all before the eye of the viewer.

Venue: The Brick Lane Gallery, 196 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SA.

Times: Daily 12-6pm.

Telephone: 020 7729 9721.