ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts
Graham Little
Closing July 27, 2019

Graham Little, Untitled (Athlete), 2019

We arrive in the midst of things, pick up clues, try and put something together. That something exists in the eternal present of the painting – a present that nevertheless unravels in time, as we see more – but it also seems to point us towards an idea of the past, a constructed phantasm different to the real past.

–Martin Herbert, ‘The Beautiful Ones’
Graham Little: Inside the Water Sleep / Published by Alison Jacques Gallery, 2019

 

Alison Jacques Gallery presents a solo exhibition of new paintings by British artist Graham Little made between 2016 and 2019. To mark this exhibition, Alison Jacques Gallery will publish a monograph on Graham Little, including an essay by writer and author Martin Herbert and an introduction by Whitechapel Gallery Curator Laura Smith.

 

Graham Little, Untitled (Telephone), 2019

Graham Little, Untitled (Veranda), 2016

Graham Little, Untitled (Quarry), 2018

Graham Little’s process is time-consuming and meticulous, each work taking months to complete. This exhibition, five years in the making, brings together for the first time, male figures alongside his more familiar female figurative imagery and marks a further transition with a focus on still life. It examines Little’s investigations into figurative painting, constructing interior and exterior tableaus referencing histories of visual representation from a range of archival source imagery. The paintings combine elements from the past and present to create enigmatic and ambiguous scenes woven with quiet narrative and emotion. Little’s oblique nostalgic yearnings bring elements of drama, intrigue and sobriety into scenes rendered through a soft-focus lens. As Laura Smith notes ‘The stillness of these images is not serene however; rather it is complex, charged, bristling with possibility. Little’s figures possess an introspective air that resists even the most probing gaze.’

 

Graham Little, Untitled (Balcony), 2016

Graham Little, Untitled (Boutique), 2019

Graham Little, Untitled (Wood), 2019

Significantly for Graham Little, there is no hierarchy of objects. For example, in the diptych Untitled (Mother and Baby) (2019) the artist applies the same level of meticulous detail to ornamental carafes resting on a bathroom table as he does to a portrait of a woman gently feeding her child. The iconography of his paintings allows narrative reading through a collection of carefully composed symbols, all as important as each other.

Domesticity and leisure are key themes in Little’s recent works, and in viewing each painting, one witnesses figures gardening, bathing, shopping, reading and washing. No script is immediately obvious; in Untitled (2018) a man sits absorbed in his newspaper in a mid-century furnished room, again, in Untitled (Veranda) (2016) a woman absentmindedly hangs up her washing on a sun-drenched balcony while in Untitled (Wood) (2019) three children sit composed in a quiet, autumnal woodland. Initial readings fragment and Little entices us to pause and stare at a rare moment of slowness, an open invitation to our perceptions in a world of accelerated information and hurried daily interaction.

 

Graham Little, Untitled, 2018

Graham Little, Untitled (Mother and Baby), 2019

Graham Little, Untitled (Fox), 2017

Graham Little has exhibited both widely and internationally; In 2001, Graham Little had a residency at Camden Arts Centre which resulted in a solo exhibition and in 2002 was included in Drawing Now: Eight Propositions, alongside Elizabeth Peyton and John Currin among others, curated by Laura Hoptman, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2002). Recent museum exhibitions include: Doing Identity. Die Sammlung Reydan Weiss, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum (2017); a curated presentation in Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers, MoMA PS1, New York (2016); Less is a Bore. Reflections on Memphis, KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf (2016); Manifesta 11, Zürich (2016); and I Prefer Life, Weserburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen (2016).

Museum acquisitions include: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.

 

Graham Little
Through July 27, 2019 / Alison Jacques Gallery, London
Visit the exhibition page >

Recent Articles
In the Land of Drought
Julian Rosefeldt
Confronting the relationship between humanity and its impact on the world, the…
Confronting the relationship between humanity and its impact on the world, the camera follows an army of scientists…
Eating Flowers
Sensations of Cig Harvey
Spanning photography, video, mixed media and the written word, Harvey’s creative practice…
Spanning photography, video, mixed media and the written word, Harvey’s creative practice explores physical and emotional boundaries of…
ARTPIL / Prescription .099
The deep immortal human wish
Deep immortal human wish, the timeless will. Voyage through death to life…
Deep immortal human wish, the timeless will. Voyage through death to life upon these shores. Shuttles in the…
Erwin Olaf: Women
Through August 16, 2019
Olaf’s women subjects are staged in highly composed images of formal perfection…
Olaf’s women subjects are staged in highly composed images of formal perfection while instilling a sense of quiet…
All Bodies Are Temples
Slowroom Contemporary
In conversation with photographer and curator Pete Lamberto and graphic designer Casper…
In conversation with photographer and curator Pete Lamberto and graphic designer Casper Svendsen of the nomadic platform Slowroom…
Preston Bus Station / Jamie Hawkesworth
Through August 31, 2019
I began to see, feel and understand its effect, I was becoming…
I began to see, feel and understand its effect, I was becoming sensitive to light. Being patient in…
So British! Collection Pinault
Through May 11, 2020
Since its creation 30 years ago, the Pinault collection has grown quickly…
Since its creation 30 years ago, the Pinault collection has grown quickly to become a major presence in…
Languages of Dissent
Stephen Willats / to August 18, 2019
Exploring the modular architecture of social housing projects, Stephen Willats spotlights forms…
Exploring the modular architecture of social housing projects, Stephen Willats spotlights forms of individual creative adaptation that defy…
Graham Little
Closing July 27, 2019

Graham Little, Untitled (Athlete), 2019

We arrive in the midst of things, pick up clues, try and put something together. That something exists in the eternal present of the painting – a present that nevertheless unravels in time, as we see more – but it also seems to point us towards an idea of the past, a constructed phantasm different to the real past.

–Martin Herbert, ‘The Beautiful Ones’
Graham Little: Inside the Water Sleep / Published by Alison Jacques Gallery, 2019

 

Alison Jacques Gallery presents a solo exhibition of new paintings by British artist Graham Little made between 2016 and 2019. To mark this exhibition, Alison Jacques Gallery will publish a monograph on Graham Little, including an essay by writer and author Martin Herbert and an introduction by Whitechapel Gallery Curator Laura Smith.

 

Graham Little, Untitled (Telephone), 2019

Graham Little, Untitled (Veranda), 2016

Graham Little, Untitled (Quarry), 2018

Graham Little’s process is time-consuming and meticulous, each work taking months to complete. This exhibition, five years in the making, brings together for the first time, male figures alongside his more familiar female figurative imagery and marks a further transition with a focus on still life. It examines Little’s investigations into figurative painting, constructing interior and exterior tableaus referencing histories of visual representation from a range of archival source imagery. The paintings combine elements from the past and present to create enigmatic and ambiguous scenes woven with quiet narrative and emotion. Little’s oblique nostalgic yearnings bring elements of drama, intrigue and sobriety into scenes rendered through a soft-focus lens. As Laura Smith notes ‘The stillness of these images is not serene however; rather it is complex, charged, bristling with possibility. Little’s figures possess an introspective air that resists even the most probing gaze.’

 

Graham Little, Untitled (Balcony), 2016

Graham Little, Untitled (Boutique), 2019

Graham Little, Untitled (Wood), 2019

Significantly for Graham Little, there is no hierarchy of objects. For example, in the diptych Untitled (Mother and Baby) (2019) the artist applies the same level of meticulous detail to ornamental carafes resting on a bathroom table as he does to a portrait of a woman gently feeding her child. The iconography of his paintings allows narrative reading through a collection of carefully composed symbols, all as important as each other.

Domesticity and leisure are key themes in Little’s recent works, and in viewing each painting, one witnesses figures gardening, bathing, shopping, reading and washing. No script is immediately obvious; in Untitled (2018) a man sits absorbed in his newspaper in a mid-century furnished room, again, in Untitled (Veranda) (2016) a woman absentmindedly hangs up her washing on a sun-drenched balcony while in Untitled (Wood) (2019) three children sit composed in a quiet, autumnal woodland. Initial readings fragment and Little entices us to pause and stare at a rare moment of slowness, an open invitation to our perceptions in a world of accelerated information and hurried daily interaction.

 

Graham Little, Untitled, 2018

Graham Little, Untitled (Mother and Baby), 2019

Graham Little, Untitled (Fox), 2017

Graham Little has exhibited both widely and internationally; In 2001, Graham Little had a residency at Camden Arts Centre which resulted in a solo exhibition and in 2002 was included in Drawing Now: Eight Propositions, alongside Elizabeth Peyton and John Currin among others, curated by Laura Hoptman, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2002). Recent museum exhibitions include: Doing Identity. Die Sammlung Reydan Weiss, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum (2017); a curated presentation in Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers, MoMA PS1, New York (2016); Less is a Bore. Reflections on Memphis, KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf (2016); Manifesta 11, Zürich (2016); and I Prefer Life, Weserburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen (2016).

Museum acquisitions include: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.

 

Graham Little
Through July 27, 2019 / Alison Jacques Gallery, London
Visit the exhibition page >