Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop

Sep 11, 2015 - Dec 27, 2015

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Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation viewContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.

Hurvin Anderson, Peter’s: Sitter’s II, 2009. Oil on linen, 73 5/8 x 57 5/8 inches. Zabludowicz Collection, London.

Hurvin Anderson, Flat Top. Oil on canvas, 98 3/8 x 81 7/8 inches. Courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery, London.

Hurvin Anderson, Loft, 2013. Acrylic on paper laid on board, 72 5/8 x 57 5/8 inches. Private collection, Olso.

Hurvin Anderson, Constructed View, 2010. Oil on canvas, 98 3/4 x 76 1/4 inches. Collection Robert and Anne-Cecilie Speyer, New York.

Hurvin Anderson, Beaded Curtain – Red Apples, 2010. Oil on canvas, 94 1/2 x 59 inchesPrivate collection, New York.

Hurvin Anderson, Maracus Series – Eccentricity, 2010. Oil on canvas, 19 3/4 x 25 1/4 inches. Collection of Gordon VeneKlasen, New York.

Hurvin Anderson, Welcome: Carib, 2005. Oil on canvas, 59 1/8 x 83 1/8 in. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London.

Hurvin Anderson, Grafting, 2015. Acrylic and oil on linen, 70 7/8 inches x 98 7/8 inches. Courtesy the artist. 

Hurvin Anderson,Twins, 2015. 2 panel acrylic on linen, 43 7/8 inches x 82 5/8 inches. Courtesy the artist. 

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop, installation view, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, September 11–December 27, 2015. Photo: David Johnson.Hurvin Anderson, Peter’s: Sitter’s II, 2009. Oil on linen, 73 5/8 x 57 5/8 inches. Zabludowicz Collection, London.Hurvin Anderson, Flat Top. Oil on canvas, 98 3/8 x 81 7/8 inches. Courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery, London.Hurvin Anderson, Loft, 2013. Acrylic on paper laid on board, 72 5/8 x 57 5/8 inches. Private collection, Olso.Hurvin Anderson, Constructed View, 2010. Oil on canvas, 98 3/4 x 76 1/4 inches. Collection Robert and Anne-Cecilie Speyer, New York.Hurvin Anderson, Beaded Curtain – Red Apples, 2010. Oil on canvas, 94 1/2 x 59 inches. Private collection, New York.Hurvin Anderson, Maracus Series – Eccentricity, 2010. Oil on canvas, 19 3/4 x 25 1/4 inches. Collection of Gordon VeneKlasen, New York.Hurvin Anderson, Welcome: Carib, 2005. Oil on canvas, 59 1/8 x 83 1/8 in. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London.Hurvin Anderson, Grafting, 2015. Acrylic and oil on linen, 70 7/8 inches x 98 7/8 inches. Courtesy the artist. Hurvin Anderson,Twins, 2015. 2 panel acrylic on linen, 43 7/8 inches x 82 5/8 inches. Courtesy the artist. 

British artist Hurvin Anderson is best known for evocative paintings that engage with charged social histories and shifting notions of cultural identity. His depictions of lush Caribbean landscapes and urban barbershops explore themes of memory, place, and the indelible connection between the two. Anderson applies paint with deceptive ease, as if eager to capture the scene before it drifts away; figure and ground blend to create compositional spaces where subjects fluidly project forward and recede back into permeable picture planes. The most comprehensive survey of Anderson’s work to date, Backdrop examines the artist’s practice in depth, presenting new and recent paintings alongside previously unseen sculpture and photography.

Anderson was born in Birmingham, United Kingdom, to Jamaican parents. His source material often stems from formative experiences in Birmingham’s Afro-Caribbean community as well as in Trinidad, where he was an artist-in-residence and became intimately familiar with Caribbean topography and aesthetic motifs such as decorative fences and metal grilles. The artist’s recent work continues this trajectory through a focus on the liminal; each work compresses a memory and flattens it into the two-dimensional picture plane, creating compositions that appear distant and imbued with longing.   

Anderson’s sculptures, many on view for the first time, explore the role of everyday objects in the construction of personal identity. Transforming mass-produced, disposable food containers into unique permanent works of sculpture, Anderson shifts the objects’ form and meaning. Never-before-seen diaristic large-format photographs provide a point of departure for his paintings and offer the viewer an opportunity to shuttle between seemingly objective documentary photography and the subjective nature of painting, providing insight into the artist’s process. 

Together, Anderson’s paintings, sculptures, and photographs suggest the many physical and emotional distinctions between a space and its beholder. No matter how familiar the subject of these works may become, the viewer must contend with visual obstacles in order to contemplate the lush scenes, seeking access to a complex reality that is ultimately the domain of the artist alone. 

Hurvin Anderson (b. 1965, Birmingham, United Kingdom) lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Art Now: Hurvin Anderson, Tate Modern, London (2009), which traveled to the Studio Museum, Harlem, New York (2009). Recent exhibitions include New Works, Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2013), Reporting Back, IKON Gallery, Birmingham (2013), Subtitles, Michael Werner Gallery, New York (2011). Anderson has been included in group exhibitions at notable institutions including Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (2013) and the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery in England (2000). 

Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Jeffrey Uslip, Chief Curator.

 

Sponsors

This exhibition is generously supported by Iris and Adam Singer; Anonymous; Alexandra and Guy Halamish; Jimmy Jamieson; Larry Mathews and Brian Salimon; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; Michael Werner Gallery, New York; and the British Council. 

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