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Tala Madani: Abstract Pussy

Tala Madani, Searchlight, 2013 © the artist. Courtesy Pilar Corrias, London.

Exhibition preview

PILAR Corrias is presenting Abstract Pussy, Tala Madani’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Featuring a new set of paintings and animation, it will be on display from February 28 to April 26, 2014.

Tala Madani’s paintings confront and challenge our very constitution. The characters she depicts, distinctively middle-aged men, do not self-censor their behavior and their actions jostle with conventional distinctions of what is socially and publicly acceptable.

Through her fleshy and intimate mark making Madani presents us with a condensed, and yet darkly comic, read of the obstructions and promises of power, exchange, and influence.

Abstract Pussy (2013) and 3D Pussy (2013) form two central paintings to Madani’s exhibition. Both feature a highly illustrated young girl whose silkscreened image dominates both the space and Madani’s men who occupy it with her.

In Abstract Pussy the shadowy, loosely painted men huddle under the girl’s skirt – looking and crawling towards the purple light emanating underneath. One man guides the others on their inspection wielding a Kandinsky-esque abstract painting sign.

3D Pussy (2013) pushes the linear illustrative qualities of the girl from Abstract Pussy one step further. The girl is structured more as an image through the play on 3D lines, and she is considerably separated from the men taking a commanding position in front of them.

The relationship between the girl and the men, watching her through the mediation of 3D glasses, plays on the intangibility of painting and the desire for the things depicted to become three-dimensional.

In other paintings, Madani has introduced a new set of protagonists – two children named Peter and Jane. The dominant characters recall the children from the book series Key Words Reading Scheme, published by Ladybird Books in the 1960s. Colloquially referred to as the Peter and Jane books, the stories placed the children in easily recognisable situations and used rote repetition to teach readers common words used in everyday English language.

Madani reconfigures Peter and Jane’s illustrative scenes by introducing her men into their idealistic landscape. Madani’s men add an element of humour to the scenes, almost mocking the children with their idiosyncratic behaviour.

Tala Madani (b. 1981 in Tehran, Iran) lives and works in Los Angeles. She currently has a large solo exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, her first at a UK institution.

Times: Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm; Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

Pilar Corrias, 54 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8EF

Website: www.pilarcorrias.com/