From October 14, 2018, to March 10, 2019, Collezione Maramotti in Italy presents Field, the first solo exhibition in Italy by English artist Phoebe Unwin. The show features a series of new paintings made specifically for its Pattern Room.
The title of the exhibit holds many different connotations. The “field” could be a landscape but also a color field or the field of vision. It is an in-between place, a traditional subject in painting, which allows the artist to hover between figuration and abstraction, to investigate the formal aspects of her medium.
Interaction of Human Figure With Surroundings
Investigating the concept of landscape and how the human figure interacts with its surroundings, Unwin uses painting to construct a delicate alternation of horizons, whose varying distances elicit different paces of observation. The layered, porous surface of her works and hazy depiction of her subjects also generate a dynamic kind of vision within each painting and an intimate link between the works.
The starting point for the entire project is a painting from 2017, Approach, which shows a suspended encounter between two people; here and there, their outlines blur into the landscape, which is molded by perception.
Investigation of Different Tempos and Rhythms Inside a Work
Along with her interest in exploring perception through color, form and combinations of the two, and in studying visual paths and emotional reactions, Phoebe Unwin investigates how different tempos and rhythms can operate inside a work. Through a process that moves from abstraction to figuration, where matter becomes sign and figures swim up out of color, Unwin creates images that seem to float within an indeterminate space and time. The artist herself has said that looking at paintings is “a physical, felt experience and, in some sense, always in the present.”
Exploring how abstraction and figuration can blend together and overlap, Unwin invites viewers to reflect on the complexity of small, seemingly trivial moments, while she probes and pushes the boundaries of painting as a means of expression. Rather than drawing inspiration from photographs, or from the sea of images that flow through the web, the artist works from personal memories or from the drawing pads where she sketches her everyday life.
Collezione Maramotti in Italy holds one of Phoebe Unwin‘s works from 2015, the same year that the artist was shortlisted for the sixth Max Mara Art Prize for Women, organized in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery.