Georgia Russell: Ajouré
Galerie Karsten Greve Cologne
Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 6.30 pm
Saturday 10 am - 6 pm
Galerie Karsten Greve is delighted to show a solo exhibition featuring new work by Scottish artist Georgia Russell, who has been represented by the gallery since 2010. The show, which will be Georgia Russell's sixth solo exhibition with Galerie Karsten Greve, is a DC OPEN GALLERIES 2021 event. New works on canvas will be presented, created at her Méru studio between 2020 and 2021 during a worldwide state of crisis that was characterised by confinement and social distancing measures. By contrast, Georgia Russell has created her most recent works by breaking through matter. Her pieces epitomise the idea of the permeability of matter and breaking through the surface – ajouré – to bring this materiality to life by deliberately incorporating daylight and air into space.
A radical gesture on which Georgia Russell's oeuvre is based is dissection of her working material, using the clinician's dissecting knife for her own purposes, as an artist's pencil:
"For me, cutting up is an artistic act of liberation. Like drawing, but instead of a pencil I use a scalpel,"
The current exhibition at Karsten Greve's Cologne gallery space creates an unusual framework for a presentation tailored to the location showcasing monumental pictures in fascinating bright colours. Whereas in her early work, the artist used colour to create intricate formal structures, she now focuses on an intuitive interplay of colour and light.
Georgia Russell uses a scalpel with surgical precision to transfer her painterly compositions from the surface of the canvas into the depth of the space. This creates a tense dynamic between the emptiness of the cutout slits and the intact canvas.
Ajouré stands for these openings, for letting in the day and thus the light, through several levels:
"Cutting through the surface of the canvas with a scalpel opens up the surface to let air IN, let the LIGHT in, so that’s almost letting the canvas BREATHE and seeing us THROUGH almost through to the past of the painting."
Inspired by meticulous observations of nature in her immediate surroundings, Georgia Russell processes notions of subtle movement and growth in her intensely coloured works created recently. As a result, the beholder may discover an almost meditative work that is characterised by a deliberate rhythm, and creates a unique network in a tactile surface.
The idea behind these pieces is "to open up a flat surface to let the light in, to let the air through so that it's breathing like lungs ..."
In her studio not far from Paris, the artist lives and works in a rural environment that gave her intensive access to nature, especially during the restrictions of recent months. in It is in this context that the works beeing presented in the exhibition Ajouré were created.
"Over this last year I‘ve been thinking about the importance of how it’s good to have a painting that’s almost living and breathing, how important it is to be able to see something living or almost growing in a space, especially within an interior space; how important it’s been to have the garden that we have here in Méru, and I think this is all fed into my work this idea of subtle movement and growth and how important it is to our existence (...)"
(Georgia Russell, Méru 2021)
Born in Elgin, Scotland, in 1974, Georgia Russell, studied fine art at the Robert Gordon University of Aberdeen (until 1997) and the Royal College of Art, graduating with an MA in printmaking in 2000. Thanks to a scholarship from the Royal College of Art, the artist set up a studio in Paris. Her work has regularly been presented internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Works by Georgia Russell are also held in notable private and public collections, such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the E.On Art Collection, Düsseldorf, and the Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern. Georgia Russell lives and works in Méru, north of Paris.