Taymour Grahne Projects is pleased to present Yellow Horses, a solo show by London based artist Grace Mattingly opening on April 2 between 4 - 7pm at The Artist Room (52 Lonsdale Road) as part of a joint opening across our 3 spaces. The exhibition will be the artist’s first solo presentation in London.
Grace Mattingly’s paintings explore a world of sunny landscapes that shimmer just behind the eyes. Figures frolick, pet, and ride animals alongside fantastical morphologies: a snake that merges with a shoe and a cat with human hair. In this world, the fantastical is just as likely as the real.
In the Yellow Landscape series, colour becomes a misty, spacious light. Yellow, in particular, is explored as “the most light-giving of all hues” and “a denser, material white,” in the words of Bauhaus artist and educator Johannes Itten in his seminal 1961 text, Elements of Color. Itten claimed, “to say that someone is ‘bright’ is to credit [them] with intelligence. So yellow, the brightest and lightest colour, pertains symbolically to understanding and knowledge.” If these figures possess knowledge, however, it is the knowledge of the body: sensual hues, flirtatious glances, and touch are their language.
In Adventures of Cat Girl Episode II, smeary blocks of colour resist their lined boundaries. A boisterous pink cat-human creature rides a white horse. Yellow flowers glow in the orange, hilly and wooded landscape, whose undulations resemble aspects of the human form. Here, colour becomes less of a stable attribute of things, and more, or equally, alive–like the figures, plants, and landscapes it describes, having a party of its own.
In her watercolours, Mattingly celebrates the liquidity, bleeds, and fluidity of the medium. The luminous, improvisational directness which characterizes the medium, with its foremost emphasis on colour and mark, make it the ideal playground through which her motifs are discovered and developed. Among these motifs, horses frequently appear as one of many in a troupe of animals including cats, snakes, birds, and deer. But uniquely, the horse is ridden as if it were a vehicle of transit between here and there: the world of the real and the world of the imagined.
Indeed, Mattingly’s work evokes a playful anarchy in which hierarchies collapse: where the lowly touch and sensual pleasures are elevated to the same status as enlightened self awareness, and the capacity for such understanding is no more circumscribed to the human figure than it is to the trees, animals, and landscape.
Grace Mattingly (b. 1991) is a London-based artist. She has shown at Sid Motion Gallery in London, Prior Art Space in Berlin, Arusha Gallery in Scotland, Big Pictures in Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Mattingly has been featured in artist publications such as Art Maze Mag and is a recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields grant. Grace received her BA from Columbia University and recently completed her MA at The Slade School of Fine Art.