"Like haiku poems, Vicken Parsons' small paintings articulate form, image and atmosphere to generate a profound visual and psychic impact. They are at once painterly, sculptural and architectonic." Iwona Blazwick, 2005*
In early 2012 the Alan Cristea Gallery will present the first solo show in London for over twelve years of the British born artist, Vicken Parsons. The show will consist of around twenty new works and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with introduction by leading psychoanalyst and writer Darian Leader.
Parsons makes small, intimate paintings of landscape and architectural spaces which move from figuration to abstraction with quiet ease. Made with thin layers of oil paint on thick plywood panel, the works have a three-dimensional, object-like quality. Often grey or monochrome, the paintings are sometimes hit with a flash of colour, of cornflower blue, bright white or electric yellow which almost seems to fluoresce. At times, however, they simply retreat into deep, dark corners.
"In their jewel-like scale, their tentative yet dynamic surface and their Vermeer-like suggestion of darkness and light, Vicken Parsons' paintings hover between a palpable sense of the here and now, and a fantastical and poetic evocation of the life of the mind."
The movement between the real and the imagined, the concrete and the abstract makes you want to stand in front of a Parsons painting and linger. You may leave with more questions than answers (where am I? Is that a horizon? If I turn that corner can I escape?), but you will, without a doubt, want to return.
This London show follows solo exhibitions at the Galerie Christine Koenig, Vienna (2008 and 2005), the New Art Centre, Salisbury (2006) and Tate St Ives (2002), with group exhibitions including shows at Southampton City Art Gallery (2010), the Art Depot, London (2010), Tate Modern (2004), Art Futures, (2007), Kunsthalle Mannheim (2004-5) and the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2004).
Born in 1957, Parsons studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and lives and works in London.