Part 1: The Diner at Alan Cristea Gallery, London
Part 2: The Gas Station at Poppy Sebire, London
Scenes of small-town America come to life in Back-Roads Journeys, an exhibition of new work across two venues by British artist Boo Ritson at Alan Cristea Gallery and Poppy Sebire from 13 October.
Back-Roads Journeys begins in The Diner, an installation at Alan Cristea Gallery, where visitors are introduced to the Diner Waitress, unhappy in her job, waiting on the Trucker's table; he's stopped by for a quick burger. Their portraits are set alongside still lifes of fast food, a new series of screenprints on plexiglass of classic American diner food and a triptych interior scene made familiar through American road movies.
The story moves to The Gas Station at Poppy Sebire's gallery where we see the Diner Waitress who, having quit her job for a new life in the South, is hitching a lift with her friend the Trucker. Here, the narrative evolves with the addition of new characters associated with life on an American highway.
Boo Ritson depicts characters and still lifes drawn from her own imagined narratives merged with borrowed Americana. For each piece she paints her subject in a thick emulsion and then has the scene photographed whilst the paint is still wet. The resulting image sits somewhere between painting, sculpture, performance and photography. Ritson has always located her work in an American cultural context and has been fascinated by the process and by history of painting. In these new works at Alan Cristea Gallery and Poppy Sebire, she introduces her first 'unfinished' subjects, each one defined as much by what is absent as what the viewer sees.