'The Elephant in the Room' opens at Durden and Ray

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'The Elephant in the Room' opens at Durden and Ray
Thomas MacGreggor, meat on the plate, 2022, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- After several pandemic-related delays, Durden and Ray welcomes seven painters from the UK to exhibit in the gallery for a show that simultaneously explores the urgency and the futility of “making sense” of the world. This is the first edition of a series of ongoing exchanges between TURPS in London and Durden and Ray in Los Angeles.

“Durden and Ray has always had the goal of bringing work of artists from other parts of the world to our gallery in the heart of L.A.’s Fashion District,” said Max Presneill, a curator with Durden and Ray. “But as the pandemic loosens its hold on the world, there can be no better time than now to be immersed in the art that defines our time … especially from the viewpoint of excellent contemporary painters from another shore.”

The artists are all part of TURPS in London, an artist-led painting program, residency, exhibition space, and TURPS Painting Magazine, aka TURPS-banana. Within TURPS a changing roster of artists curate exhibitions that reflect the energy and diversity of contemporary painting.

John Wyatt Clarke, who curated the show, said "If enormous global issues are the elephants in the room today, then negotiating a route through means approaching them obliquely, sliding into the spaces between the obvious, illuminating unlikely resonances and improbable conjunctions. Painting is cut out for this."

He added: “If the painters here are questioning the order of things, they’re doing so in an optimistic, curious and mischievous way. Instead of grasping at truths, they’re allowing the time and space for something to evolve out of their creative speculation. Their painting is an affirmative act on the road to somewhere that you’ll never find with Google Maps.”

Together, the artists chosen for this show are each looking at the world differently, flipping between the subjective and objective, and creating a spectacle within the white walls of the Los Angeles gallery that will long be remembered on this side of the pond.

London based painter, Gina Birch, is a founding member of post-punk band The Raincoats. Along with recording five Raincoats albums she has created and been involved in many other musical projects which she has performed worldwide. Selected exhibitions include a solo painting show at Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre in Paris March 2021,a solo show at the ICA London of films, music and paintings November 2020 and exhibited paintings at The Kitchen NYC November 2017. Graduating in film from Royal College of Art (MARCA) she has directed several films and many music videos.

Michael was born in Lancashire in 1983, and lives and works in London. He attended the Ruskin School of Fine Art at Oxford University (2005) then completed an MFA at the Glasgow School of Art (2008) followed by the Turps Studio Programme (2019-20). He has won numerous prizes and awards including a two-year scholarship from the Leverhulme Trust, and he has been shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries and the Abbey Scholarship at the British School in Rome. He has recently been Artist-in-Residence at NES in Iceland, at Husk in London, and at the Cyprus College of Art.

Tom Farthing lives and works in London. He studied on the Turps Studio Programme and completed an MA at Chelsea School of Art in 2013. He is currently a painting mentor for Turps Banana. He exhibits widely and his paintings are held in many collections.

Charles Inge studied at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford University. He currently divides his time between his studios on the Isle of Wight and Soho, London. He has exhibited widely including the BP Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. His work is featured in the National Collection. He has won several awards, most recently the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize (2021), Wytham Hall Art Prize (2018) and the Winsor and Newton Oil Painting Prize (2017).

Studied at Edinburgh College of Art 95-99 then on the Turps Studio Programme. Between these times he has lived and worked in Edinburgh, Bolivia, Stockholm and London. Whilst in the UK he has worked extensively within Scottish Prison Service Lecturing in drawing and painting. His work has been seen in numerous solo and group shows in Europe and South America.

Born 1991 in Trondheim, Norway, moved to the UK to study for a Diploma in fine art at The Art Academy in London, followed by an MA at City & Guilds of London Art School. In 2014 he was awarded the ArtGemini Prize, and his work has been exhibited in the UK, Sweden and Norway. For the past eight years he has been occupying a teaching position at The Art Academy.

John Wyatt Clarke is a lecturer, publisher, agent and writer on photography, former Creative Director of Magnum Photos, a founder of the environmental activist organisation Project Pressure, and a trained geologist. He has been exhibiting his paintings and photographs across Europe since the 1980s.

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