Time Out of Mind (Ed Gray) - GXgallery
AN EXHIBITION of works by Ed Gray, Time Out of Mind: Painting and drawings from the floating world, will be on display at GXgallery from May 23 to June 11, 2009.
Gray’s latest exhibition documents his journey through six major world cities, contrasting the drama of the city with the narrative of humanity. Time Out of Mind: Painting and drawings from the floating world depicts an unfolding pageant of lives lived in uncertain times.
As documenter and story teller, Gray trawls each city’s streets obsessively and compulsively searching for its soul. Corruption, social unrest, poverty, mundane drudgery and fleeting pleasures are tempered with humour and human warmth. Sounds, smells and heat of the city burst from the epic canvasses as the viewer recognises their own existence in paint.
The history and culture of each city, in combination with the immediate experience of each place, play a major role in the artists approach, as Gray comments:
“Pictures from the floating world in the exhibition title, refers to woodblock prints of the Edo period in Japan that depicted the transience of life’s fleeting pleasures, which is something that is echoed in my own work. The phrase also represents the psychological process of drawing – floating through cities and through lives. Being present and then moving on. In a way you have to be invisible too. I had some issues with security guards. It seems a pencil is more subversive than a camera and video recorder these days…”
The artist equates his journey with the idea of the ‘Grand Tour’ which saw 18th Century artists travelling abroad to visit the archaeological sites and see the paintings that inspired them. Gray has chosen to visit cities that reflected his artistic heroes and interests, Buddhism in Thailand, Hiroshige and Hokusai in Japan, Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn in California, Edward Hopper in New York and Pre-Hispanic art and Diego Rivera in Mexico.
“It was important to me to see the countries where these artists were working. To see how the geography, the light and the people informed their work. I wanted to stand in their shoes and pay my respects.”
This major exhibition is the culmination of a year of travel, exploration and research for Gray and represents an intrepid new chapter in his work. The journey has proved to be an epic one and this is reflected in the vivid life of the resulting paintings – his physical and emotional experience, immersion and compassion are clearly documented as we travel with him through the lives of his subjects. His journey ends in London with paintings in which, as Londoners, we see our own lives played out in insightful detail as his story though the city continues.
GXgallery, 43 Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8RS
Tel: 020 7703 8396