25 April - 2 June 2024

Vicken Parsons

    β€œThe first thing anyone comments on is the size of the work. What I am trying to do is open up the small physical space of the panel into a space of the imagination, of unknown – possibly vast – dimensions. Paradoxically, you cannot create space without using the language of confinement.” Vicken Parsons

    Cristea Roberts Gallery is delighted to announce a new solo exhibition by Vicken Parsons, her first in the UK for four years. Vicken Parsons: Time (25 April – 2 June 2024) will feature twenty-five new paintings made over the last three years. These works mark a new development in the artist’s practice which continues to investigate the possibility of the two-dimensional plane as a place of depth, breadth and potential.

    Parsons makes her paintings using thin layers of oil paint on thick plywood panel. The subjects of her work have often been partial views of internal spaces, some remembered and others imagined. In her new paintings thresholds, edges and apertures are sometimes visible, but more often than not are pushed to the sides, leading to increasing abstraction. 

    Central for Parsons is that the paintings convey a much larger sense of scale and space than their small size might initially suggest. In some works, space is shaped and defined by lines and structures that recall architectural elements, while in others Parsons uses paint to veil or shadow interiors that can be glimpsed beneath. More recent paintings encourage space to expand and grow and creep towards the borders of the panel. As the limits of space are stretched, pulsating colour or soft yet luminous horizons reminiscent of the landscape are revealed, and the texture of paint and the mark of the brush become core elements of the visual field. In one of the most recent paintings in the exhibition, a white light pushes towards the foreground and almost dissolves its marked boundary.

    In a recent text on Parsons’ work, writer and poet Rachel Spence has described the paintings as visual poems: “Delicate, diminutive, measured, rhythmically playful but strict on internal structure. Withholding clarity to open the way towards a more enduring light. Our gaze narrows to look at them just as our ear quickens to catch poetry’s music. We peer. Lean closer. Pause. Painting as comma of time as well as occupier of space.”

    Vicken Parsons: Time coincides with the publication of the artist’s first retrospective monograph, a 296-page publication featuring works from throughout her career including drawings, paintings and sculpture. Texts by fellow artists and writers from the fields of art, psychoanalysis and literature include contributions from Michael Archer, David Batchelor, Iwona Blazwick, Edmund de Waal and Darian Leader.

    Vicken Parsons (b.1957, Hertfordshire) lives and works in London. Her paintings are held in major national and international collections including Tate, The Government Art Collection, The Arts Council Collection, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Jerwood Foundation, the Belvedere Museum, Vienna and Museum Voorlinden, the Netherlands.

    Purchasing new paintings
    To register your interest in the new paintings by Vicken Parsons that will be exhibited in Time please contact us via [email protected].
    Private View and Book Launch

    6 - 7.30 pm Wednesday 24 April 2024
    Join Cristea Roberts Gallery for the opening of a solo exhibition by Vicken Parsons and the launch of the artist’s first monograph published by Art/Books.

    Confirm your attendance via [email protected]


    New Monograph

    Vicken Parsons: Time coincides with the publication of the artist’s first retrospective monograph, a 296-page hard back publication featuring Parsons’ most celebrated works, including never before seen drawings, works in progress and studio shots.

    Featuring a foreword by Andrew Nairne, introduction by Charlotte Mullins and a conversation between the artist and David Batchelor. Further text include those by Michael Archer, Iwona Blazwick, Darian Leader, Richard Morphet, Anna Moszynska, Annushka Shani, Rachel Spence and Edmund de Waal.

    Publication date: 29 April 2024
    The monograph will be available to purchase at the gallery on the evening of Wednesday 24 April.

    Photo: Maxwell Anderson

    Top image. Vicken Parsons; Untitled, 2024.

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