'Sarah Cunningham: The Crystal Forest' now opening at Lisson Gallery

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, May 30, 2024

'Sarah Cunningham: The Crystal Forest' now opening at Lisson Gallery
Sarah Cunningham, I Will Look Into the Earth, 2023. Oil on Canvas (triptych), 180 x 420 x 4 cm, 70 7/8 x 165 3/8 x 1 5/8 in. © Sarah Cunningham, Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

LONDON.- Lisson Gallery presents its first solo exhibition by British painter Sarah Cunningham exploring psychological spaces and multifaceted landscapes that the artist composes within her layered and generative canvases. This new body of paintings – including a major triptych and large-scale works, alongside smaller panels – focusses on Cunningham’s abstract forays into kaleidoscopic environments and imagined forest clearings, which she constructs over time through layer after layer of gesture and radiating bursts of light, line and colour.

Cunningham (b.1993) pulls from a multitude of literary, art historical and personal references, adopting and dissolving these situations through vivid, expressionistic mark making. The exhibition takes its title from one such influence, JG Ballard's 1966 science-fiction novel, The Crystal World, although her own crystalline scenes are structured from constantly shifting, penumbral planes and collaged fragments, leading viewers through the proscenium arch towards new worlds beyond. The earliest work also lends its title to the show: The Crystal Forest depicting a fractured vortex of earth, trees and sky, merging multiple viewpoints and testing the boundaries between human beings, nature and landscape.

Cunningham’s is not a single forest – although influenced by the woods around her hometown of Nottingham and those of Guna Yala in Panama, where she undertook a residency in 2018 – rather it represents a wider diversity of interconnecting ecosystems, species and even possible future forests. Time intervenes and splinters in the triptych at the centre of the exhibition, entitled I Will Look into Earth, with its central panel having been added as a last action, bringing immediacy, space and light to the scene, while pulling apart and reconfiguring its original, dualistic state. All works undergo Cunningham’s demanding process of layering, erasure, rebalancing and occasionally, wholesale destruction, as was the case both with Urchin Shelter, a painting brutally cut from a larger entity and re-stretched into its final form, or in another ocean-themed canvas, Oyster Catcher, flipped upside down to create bedrock from sky and to transform dappled sunlight into shoals of fish and tumbling crustaceans.

An improvisatory approach to materials also influences every fluid gesture and crystalline composition she makes, whether using cloth to drag and remove paint or by adding branches and other wooden extensions to brushes as a means to extend or alter her arm’s length, as in My Body is a Drowning City, which maps Cunningham’s figure through alternate horizontal and gravitational sweeps. Her unusual, nocturnal practice of working through the night further estranges her limbs and thoughts from any systematic, painterly movements, resulting in works that briefly dwell in darkness only to culminate in the arrival of the dawn chorus.

This is Sarah Cunningham’s first solo show in London after completing an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2022 and being presented in exhibitions in Vancouver, Berlin, Los Angeles, New York and Aspen.

“There is an immense reward to be found in that frozen forest. There the transfiguration of all living and inanimate forms occurs before our eyes, the gift of immortality a direct consequence of the surrender by each of us of our own physical and temporal identities.” – JG Ballard, The Crystal World, 1966

Lisson Gallery
Sarah Cunningham: The Crystal Forest
July 12th, 2023 - August 26th, 2023

Today's News

July 12, 2023

Artifacts stolen from Kenya decades ago are returned

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art acquires important Rosalba Carriera portrait

The White House has been a recipient of the Eli Wilner Frame Funding Program

Color Theory auction at Hindman to celebrate legacy of Josef Albers

Chrysler Museum repatriates cultural artifact to Nigeria

The ultimate Batman collection, spanning decades and continents, leaps into auction at Heritage in August

Harn Museum of Art opens 'Under the Spell of the Palm Tree: The Rice Collection of Cuban Art'

Four pages found in a couch are ruled Aretha Franklin's true will

The Fralin Museum of Art at The University of Virginia highlights 70 years of Abstract painting in new exhibition

'Intimate Strangers' at Yancey Richardson to feature the photographs and videos of 16 artists

The group exhibition 'Bellyache' to open at CHART starting today

Kunstmuseum Den Haag announces "Breaking Boundaries - Art of the 1960s"

"Colossal: Painting on a Grand Scale" on view at The Belvedere

Online auction features over 315 antique, vintage & contemporary lots

No.1 Royal Crescent and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy first museums in Bath to offer digital Bloomberg Connect guides

Green Art Gallery now representing artist Dorsa Asadi

Yuan Fang, Yirui Jia, Liu Yin, Homer Shew to open exhibition at Kiang Malingue

Yale Center for British Art welcomes two new collection curators

80WSE opens an exhibition of works by A.L. Steiner

One of Kyiv's oldest gardens brings peace to the war-weary

With art colleges closing, a Chicago museum has an alternative

Review: Ted Hearne's Sweet, Sad American Elegy

'Sarah Cunningham: The Crystal Forest' now opening at Lisson Gallery

Pokémon card draws $175,000 to lead Heritage's $1.8 million Trading Card Games Auction

The impact of unique art styles on video game popularity

Wedding Necklaces Any Bride Will Love

The Science Behind Facials: How They Work To Improve Skin Health

How NFTs Have Revolutionized the Art Market and Digital Art

Baccarat Myths and Misconceptions: Debunking Popular Beliefs

Single line fonts and their exciting potential for future design applications

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful