Luminous was loud last night, not that it was anything to do with sound art or performance, no, it was just the noise made by the almost crushed-in gallery crowd for Frea Buckler’s first London solo exhibition and “the eagerly awaited outcome of a long-term artistic relationship between British female artist Frea Buckler and curator Anna Smithson, owner of Smithson Gallery”. The art-crowd chatter is almost deafening and actually getting to see the luminous art is rather difficult…
“Frea explores a continual line of enquiry with her unique screen printing process. Refusing to succumb to trends, her sights are set on the long game within the art-world. Frea embraces chance and rejects planning, preferring to work instinctively, creating multiple works derived from the limitation of one single shape. She prints with perfection and uniformity, employing flat colour and sharp edges. Her work is reminiscent of the geometric abstraction movement, drawing inspiration from the likes of Carmen Herrera and Agnes Martin”.
There’s sculpture on the floor, there’s almost no room for sculpture on the floor, there’s Frea’s screen prints neatly frames in white on the wall, (politely neat is always the way at Jealous). This maybe a takeover of the space under the Smithson name but it does feel something close to what you almost think of as typical Jealous show “An exhibition filled with dynamic shapes, blazing colour and dreamlike luminosity, a result of Frea’s thorough investigation of possibility from limitations. Using Instagram as her sketchbook Frea’s account is quickly gathering momentum; thousands of followers trace her compelling map of colour, form, influence and background”.
Not really sure how dynamic this show really is? Do like Frea Buckler’s work and her use of line and colour though, not sure if it is “dreamlike luminosity” we’re experiencing in here tonight? Graphically intense certainly, kind of tamed by those neat white frames and the rather formal presentation, those frames might just be sucking some of the energy and that dynamic edge out of her work (sucking out the energy is something that so often happens here at Jealous). And yes we could maybe aim some of those same criticisms at this show they we did at those shows at Stolen Space and New Art Projects last week. Do rather like the art of Frea Buckler though, do like her lines, her angles and her bold instinctive use of colour, this might be a difficult show to really get hold of but she is a potentially exciting artist, no, she already is an exciting artist.
Do suspect it is worth going back to Jealous and Luminous when there isn’t a need to battle the noise and the elbows of crowd, but there is far more to Frea Buckler’s art than this show is revealing, it does rather feel like a taste of things to come, a hint of what she might do when she gets to have a “proper” solo show. Jealous is about making and selling prints, about carefully framing the art they sell, a commercial contemporary art operation, they’re very open about what they do and they do their chosen thing very well, they don’t pretend to be anything else and this isn’t in any kind of way a dig at the Jealous, Smithson, Frea Buckler, or this show – it does feels like her first real proper solo show is yet to come though, this feels like an appetizer, a taste, a hint of what she may be capable of, there’s an interesting artist emerging here, her prints are a little different, her use of colour exciting, her sculpture looks like it might be as well, check out this show a jealous if you can and then keep an eye out for a “proper” solo show is a space a little less about sales and the cold hearted business of art. a place that’s a bit more about the art itself, a place where her colour can breath. This is a good show, a fine taste of things to come, a healthy hint of an exciting artist who you clearly need to keep an eye on…. (sw)
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