REVIEW

Ryan Mosley

Alison Jacques Gallery, London
15 July - 13 August 2011

Reviewed by: Adam Kelly »

The latest exhibition of Mosley's work displays consistency with that which he exhibited in 2010 and 2009 which include his famous carnival-cabaret-folk-theatre inspired cacti, characters, silhouetted portrait heads, and humorous skulls to delight and captivate viewers.

Mosley's paintings and stimuli have developed considerably since 2007, from the limb-filled, mythological inspired, giant watercolour-esque pieces found in the recent Saatchi exhibition Newspeak: New British Art Now in 2010.

Mosley once worked as a security guard at the National Gallery, gaining excellent contact with the old and new masters and his paintings demonstrate something not found in the current art world: unique new aesthetic. For this, his folklore figures freely roam their canvases, defibrillating exciting scenarios and fantastical persona's that draw on predominately North American tales yet work to a universal viewer with his nostalgic pallet and never-ending motifs. Mosley's phallic cacti occupy his canvases as unusual foliage that both reveal and conceal his figures and act as his canvas frames often against a creamy moon background.

The historical context of Mosley's work contain a bountiful collection of nineteenth-century signifiers that as of lately have become meticulously linked to some rather unlikely predecessors such as painters Henri Matisse, Titian and folk hero Bob Dylan, for his contribution to Mosley's lyrical and wonderful compositions. Probably the best juxtaposition between the latter and Mosley's work can be determined with Dylan's song When I Paint My Masterpiece (1971) and Mosley's Cave Inn (2011) wherein a traditional Mosley persona is on "a date with Botticelli's niece". But attention should also be drawn to Mosley's portraits, the Primitive Ancestry and Shaman series which rewrite the history of portrait and silhouette painting to suit the needs of Mosley's inner turmoil to rediscover his own identity with allegorical often generic stand-ins. Whilst most of his paintings contain purely imaginative personalities, his few familiar identities have included the St. George dragon in George and the Dragon (2007), the Greek mythology sirens in Sirens (2008) and former President of the United States Abraham Lincoln.

At first glance, Mosley's paintings appear in a world of their own as his participants are always entering or leaving the canvas and either painted in total confidence for the viewer such as A Bar in France, a Mosley re-working of Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergére or shying away to their own adventures such as Heavy Bouquet, a Mosley interpretation of Van Gogh, and other Impressionist masters depictions of fish-out-of-water characters.

Mosley's work continues to astound and this exhibition will have the viewer desiring more of these paintings for years to come.

Writer detail:

Second Year student on BA (Hons) Fine Art course at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.

www.adam-kelly.com

Venue detail:
Alison Jacques Gallery »
16-18 Berners Street, London W1T 3LN
www.alisonjacquesgallery.com/exhibitions/70/installation_shots/ Open in new window

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