Apr 30 — Jun 18
Marlborough Chelsea is pleased to present Cut Flowers, the second solo exhibition by London-based artist Ansel Krut. Krut has created a tightly focused group of new still life paintings depicting flowers in unusual, sometimes anthropomorphized vases.
Painted from memory, in oil and fast-drying enamel, without the artist’s customary preparatory watercolor study, these new works signal a new approach in the artist’s ever- evolving investigation of painting. While the immediacy of technique (and its implicit acknowledgement of fleeting time) may be new, many of Krut’s signature peculiarities are reassuringly present. The handling of figure/ground relationships, color and line, and a pervasive sense of oddity are all classic Krut, however a newly elegiac quality inherent in the subject matter that tempers some of his more strident eccentricities presides in this new body of work.
Known for a certain restrained easel-painting scale, Krut also makes his first foray here into a larger format. Gerbera’s size can be seen as an extension of a newfound looseness and permissiveness in the work—especially as the scale directly correlates to that of the artist’s body and the manifested physicality of the gesture in paint. By extension, the body and its component parts (as represented in the vases) and the ephemerality of the flesh (symbolized by the flowers) are central, universal concerns.
Flower paintings, as a genre, have a long and checkered history, and Krut’s ability to inject his peculiar melancholy humanity into a well-worn subject, is testament to our recurrent need for this type of imagery, and the singularity and the clarity of his voice.