Following the success of his 2016 show Subjection & Discipline, which saw the artist create a body of portraiture work inspired by 18th Century Masters, including Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Henry Raeburn, Transitions sees a shift of focus towards landscape and abstraction.
Jake Wood-Evans, The Hay Wain, after Constable, 2017, Oil on canvas. 160 x 120 cm.
Richly-coloured, light-imbued scenes characterise the work, in which seascapes and serene vistas appear as though through a veil or clouded glass. In one, a figure is suggested, glowing within a studio of silks and fabric; in another, a horse is suspended beneath a flood of luminosity. Leaving behind the subdued colours of previous collections, the canvases are splashed with vivid hues of gold, red, orange, turquoise and blue, whilst delicate brushwork is set alongside sweeping washes and horizontal scratches and scores.
Taking influence from the work of John Constable, J.M.W. Turner and George Stubbs, among others, Jake’s paintings retain recognisable elements that allude to the conventions of art history. Drawing on these masters’ legacies, his intention is to capture the essence of these historic works without replicating them, depicting familiar, yet obscured subject matter. Through first creating, then scrubbing away, reworking and removing sections of a scene, the artist reveals ghostly infrastructures that preserve the warmth and glow of the original painting.
Jake Wood-Evans in his Hastings studio, 2017.
Describing his work as ‘a process of conflict with the ambiguous space between representation and abstraction’, Jake resists the urge to provide easy readings or instantly accessible compositions. Transitions invites the viewer to pause and quietly contemplate a series of multi-layered paintings that denote a common visual language built through our shared history and consumption of art imagery.
Taking place in Unit London’s temporary gallery outpost in Covent Garden, the exhibition is set to open on Friday, 1 December with a special preview on Thursday, 30 November 2017. RSVP for the private view here.