From Near and Far: Collage and Figuration in the Contemporary Age

From Near and Far: Collage and Figuration in the Contemporary Age
Curated by Katy Hessel and Deborah Roberts
9 June – 23 July 2022
Stephen Friedman Gallery
11 & 30 Old Burlington Street
Mayfair, London

Stephen Friedman Gallery presents ‘From Near and Far’, an exhibition exploring the notion of collage. Bringing together 15 contemporary female artists, the exhibition focuses on collage as a concept and an art form; from the traditional method of splicing together imagery to amalgamating figures, forms, gestures and viewpoints. The artists are united by a shared interest in figuration.

Curated by Katy Hessel, art historian and founder of The Great Women Artists, and artist Deborah Roberts, the exhibition features over twenty works, many of which have never been shown before. Gallery artists Sarah Ball, Deborah Roberts and Caroline Walker all present new works. Other highlights include significant, large-scale paintings by Jordan Casteel and Amy Sherald; a series of collages by Lubaina Himid that have never previously been exhibited; and new works by Kenturah Davis, M. Florine Démosthène, Genevieve Gaignard, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Chantal Joffe, Aubrey Levinthal, Anne Rothenstein, Betye Saar and Mickalene Thomas.

Amy Sherald, ‘A golden afternoon’, 2016. Oil on canvas,
137.2 x 109.2cm (54 x 43in).Private Collection. Copyright Amy Sherald.
Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.
Photo by Joseph Hyde.

‘From Near and Far’ demonstrates how artists have used collage to translate and evoke the world around them. The works dissect political and social norms embedded in mainstream visual culture and expose fractured aspects of society whilst also presenting images of unity.

Deborah Roberts, ‘Mud pie’, 2022. Mixed media
and collage on canvas, 165.1 x 114.3cm (65 x 45in).
Copyright Deborah Roberts. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman
Gallery, London. Photo by Paul Bardagjy.

The exhibiting artists build on the legacy of pioneering women such as Hannah Höch, who used the medium in photomontage, and Pauline Boty, who pioneered the technique of ‘painting’ collage. Kudzanai-Violet Hwami uses the technique of collage for its freedom and power to connect thoughts and words, whilst Deborah Roberts combines images of different skin tones, facial features, hairstyles and clothes to create empowering depictions of Black youth. Both Anne Rothenstein and Chantal Joffe use the medium in its rawest form to explore figuration.

Caroline Walker and Sarah Ball deploy collage in the preliminary stages of their work, blending preparatory photographs to create a composite image from which to paint, whilst Amy Sherald explores the figure/ground relationship by setting her figures against flat planes of bright colour.

Also at Stephen Friedman Gallery and presented alongside ‘From Near and Far’ is Deborah Roberts’ solo exhibition, ‘I want to talk about you’ at 25-28 Old Burlington Street, Mayfair. 

©2022 Stephen Friedman Gallery