ORGAN THING: Hunter Potter, a very real American painter and a solo show in East London…


Hunter Potter

Hunter Potter, Public Gallery, Hackney, opening night, 5th Feb 2020 – Another night another opening, it really is, with a little bit of effort, despite gentrification and the destruction of so many vital art spaces, still possible to fill any given week with a rewarding (or at least semi-rewarding) art show or two here in East London, tonight we’re off to the back passage lost in the old industry of Hackney Downs for the debut solo show on English soil from New Your painter Hunter Potter – and he is very definitely, or maybe even defiantly, a painter, a very painterly very bold painter.

We were rather looking forward to this one, the on-line tasters and the glimpses from his activity over there had us curious about what the might do over here and although the might have been a little restricted in terms of the logistics, I was kind of hoping he might break out beyond the conventions of a regulation canvas (that image we featured on these pages last year when Public first announce the show was rather exciting, the image is up there, it isn’t from this current London show). There’s something rather boldly positive about Hunter Potter’s paintings, his use of paint, his bold marks, his almost primitive marks, the flow of it all, Not sure if the notions of “a ‘real’ American man in the 21st century” fully translate to the walls of a small Hackney gallery on a cold Wednesday night in February but there is something about Hunter Potter’s paintings, there is something about the way he uses colour and the things he says with it… 
“Revolving around his personal meditation on the expectations of masculinity, Potter examines real and imagined outcomes of his own life given a different set of choices and decisions. Heavily exaggerated and often fantastical, Potter’s paintings pay homage to the various people and lifestyles observed and experienced throughout his upbringing. The work, therefore, seems to respond to, as well as question, Potter’s own potential role and position within the romantic small-town, blue-collar, Americana environment”.


Hunter Potter, Public Gallery, Hackney, opening night, 5th Feb 2020

“Throughout this new series, Potter mines his own memories and nostalgia to examine, quite simply, the man that he could have, and perhaps wishes he had become. Often presented through symbolic Wild West metaphors, the paintings are both idealized and self-critical. These hyper masculine characters clad in flannel, cowboy boots, and prison stripes, work to question the very expectation of what it means to be a ‘real’ American man in the 21st century. Using repetitive, familiar, and metaphoric imagery, the paintings place Potter’s own life experiences within the wider arena of Americana folklore: stories that are neither past nor present, fact nor fiction, right nor wrong, but more so a recognisable combination of it all”.

𝙄 𝘼𝙞𝙣’𝙩 𝙃𝙖𝙡𝙛 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙖𝙣 𝙄 𝙒𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙏𝙤 𝘽𝙚 is well worth your time, these are paintings worth investigating, you do feel there’s more to Hunter Potter than this show tells you, that it only scratches at the surface of things…. (sw)


Hunter Potter, Public Gallery, Hackney, opening night, 5th Feb 2020

“Hunter Potter was born in 1990 in Syracuse, NY, and studied studio art at the University of Vermont where he graduated in 2013. He moved to New York City in 2015 and spent time commercial sign painting before establishing his own studio in Brooklyn. Last year Potter was selected for the PLOP residency, London and in 2018 was awarded the Roger Smith Artist Fellowship undertaking residencies at the Vermont Studio Centre, Johnson VT and the Golden Foundation, New Berlin, NY”.

PUBLIC Gallery (apparently they like it in capitals), is at 17 Amhurst Terrace, London, E8 2BT.  The Hunter Potter show runs until February 29th.

Do click on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show…


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