- The Nunnery Gallery
The fag-end of this show's run – before it moves to Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge in October '09 – provides a brief chance to unashamedly focus on one painter.
Learn the name of Gordon Cheung. Let the nasal sing-song of that surname reverberate in your head as you chant it, mantra style. For Cheung is a bright spark from the hot burning culture of 21st century UK visual arts…
Cheung's paintings are fireflies, glowing in the current dark ages of 'UK visual arts Plc': the post-millennial vaccuum left by those 1990's supernovae, yBa and Hirst.
And Cheung's paintings double as glow worms in the deep mulch of the Great Recession and predicted depression.
Fellow art lovers, behold the work itself. If possible, visit this or one of many shows Cheung is involved with during 2009: a purple patch (not artistically).
Cheung has just showed twice over, befittingly, in New York, New York. He showed as part of the art fair Volta (13 March – 18 April) and concurrently managed to satisfy a lifelong ambition to have a solo show in NYC, Gordon Cheung: The Promised Land (Jack Shainman Gallery, 19 March to 18 April). A nice footnote here: The eponymous painting, 'The Promised Land', is a larger than life scale in three sections that has been painted on, suitably, sail cloth.
With these two outings this ego-lite Englishman of Chinese descent has quietly stormed the global financial capital and key art capital. Yet whether his stock value as an artist soars, his signature painting style is worth attention.
Each painting is a marvellous endgame of mixed media. Brightly coloured symbols of aspiration and value (rainbows; palm trees; etc) are built up in hallucinatory layers over the unusual pinkish (rose tinted?) hue and impenetrable content of the stocks and shares pages lifted directly from the famed UK newspaper, The Financial Times.
Given that the financial world has collapsed, unable to sustain its swollen speculation, Cheung's art deliciously invokes the ever delusional world of money, money, money.