Abstract Critical

Painting round the degree shows

Written by Sam Cornish

Below is the work of 12 abstract painters who showed in the recent BA degree shows at Wimbledon (Freya Guest, Syeda Begum, Eve Campbell, Thomas Rapsey), Central Saint Martin’s (Jemma Lucas, Adrian Kiss, James Halliwell), Chelsea (Adia Wahid), and Camberwell (Sam Pullen, Jake Eaton, Olivia Carlsson Lloyd, Vanessa Bradley).

As well as being London-centric, the selection is obviously partial and minimizes the chaos and confusion which are part and parcel of degree shows. It also avoids much work which felt to me insufficiently abstract for inclusion here – a move which is certainly problematic. Perhaps one of the consistent tasks that falls to each generation of abstract painters is to renegotiate where the line sits which divides the abstract from the representational, the figurative from the non-figurative; to judge this so summarily from the outside is always likely to miss the new set of answers. However the selection is what it is and abstract critical is currently putting together a questionnaire to send out to the painters shown here which should provide some further insight.

Freya Guest, Untitled, 49 x 37 cm, 2012

Syeda Begum, #PL0458, acrylic on folded linen, 92 x 51cm, 2012

Eve Campbell, Into the Semis, oil on linen, 41 x 51cm, 2012

Thomas Rapsey, Have you been experienced, Oil on canvas 140x 120cm, June 2012

Jemma Lucas, Crash, acrylic, daz-detergent on poly-cotton, 180 x 160cm, 2012

Adrian Kiss, installation, 2012

James Halliwell, Mother Prism, spray and gesso on canvas, 200 x 200cm, 2012

Adia Wahid, Untitled, acrylic and oils, 120 x 100cm, 2012

Sam Pullen, installation shot, L-R- H.B.2 K.R H.B.1, all works acrylic on linen, 120 x 85cm, 2012

Jake Eaton, Untitled, oil and spray paint on board, each piece 40 x 30cm, 2012

Olivia Carlsson Lloyd, Cross-Eyed Joe, 122 x 94cm, mixed media on linen, 2012

Vanessa Bradley, Installation image, both untitled, oil on canvas, painting on L 175 x 130cm, painting on R 185 x 150cm

  1. Bernie Clarkson said…

    Apologies but this work leaves me cold and unimpressed. As a recent MFA painting graduate myself I feel positively depressed at these images. I sometimes wonder whether history will think we were having a joke.

  2. Sharon Hall said…

    Painting around the degree shows, why London only ?