Primordial Soup at James Freeman Gallery

  • Art
Primordial Soup at James Freeman Gallery


Tue, 30/08/2016 - 13:43


Work that features in ‘Primordial Soup: From left: Carolein Smit  and Chris Bere
Work that features in ‘Primordial Soup: From left: Carolein Smit and Chris Berens,
26 August, 2016

YOU might assume that instinct is an integral part of any creative act, and yet, James Freeman felt the need to curate “Primordial Soup”, a group show based around four artists whose process revolves around impulse. 

“There’s a lot of contemporary art that is very much about being technical,” he explains. 

“There’s a focus on concept and context rather than the aesthetic appeal. The technical approach is, of course, valid, but it misses out on the emotional aspect of art.”

The show features painted bacchanalian scenes of James Mortimer, fantastically precise fantasies of Dutch painter Chris Berens, delicate pencil landscapes from Sam Branton, and Carolein Smit’s mythological ceramic figures. This show is a chance to enjoy Smit’s work ahead of her solo show at the V&A next year.

James has spotted a trend in recent graduate shows for a pervasive cynicism that can result in a disjointed experience for the viewer – a broken circuit in emotional resonance and connection. He is fascinated by what he calls “old memory” or magical thinking – those shared cultural memories that can emerge when artists give themselves up to their instinct. 

James has often found that artists will create work that subconsciously references existing or familiar shapes, colours and forms. 

He added: “All the artists showing in ‘Primordial Soup’ have no set agenda, and, as their work develops naturally, shared ideas seem to emerge and embed themselves in the artwork.”

• ‘Primordial Soup’ runs from Sept 9-Oct 8 at the James Freeman Gallery, 354 Upper Street, N1

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