The Elms Lester Painting Rooms drew WK Interact and Andrew Lister from their group of exhibiting artists and combined their work into one show, eager to see the outcome. While the two artists haven’t ever worked together, their work is oddly coherent. Two artists, both in some way displaced, working in a city that has taken some kind of hold over both of them, exhibiting in yet another city, which is big enough to be tough to impress.
WK Interact, French born but Brooklyn dwelling, creates cityscapes with cut and pasted landscapes that are as jagged as they are foreboding. His confident clip art sits darkly next to the bright white backgrounds that Andrew Lister’s disjoint figures sit upon. Australian Andrew Lister also lives and works in New York, but there’s still something very Antipodean about his images.
Of the two, Lister’s work cuts more deeply, with his ungainly figures often mirrored to create haunting diptychs. He has the kind of precise control you see in sport, when the majority of the effort goes into the appearance of ease. His figures are bulbous, misshapen, large where they should be small, or made of sharp lines where they should be soft.
Both artists pull influences from the edges of society, places not reached by the wider art world. But where WK Interact looks to the political, Lister is personal- more childlike. He takes a metaphorical approach to black and white, drawing heavily on the influences of comic books and superheroes.
To celebrate the exhibition, a limited edition catalouge has been released. Fittingly, it’s a work of art itself, combining full colour plates with interviews with each artist. Limited to a run of 1000 copies, it’s also nice to handle- it can be read from either side and both artists have their own cover.
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Exhibition Runs 21st August – 20th September 2008
Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 6pm, Thursdays ’til 8pm
Elms Lester Painting Rooms
135 Flitcroft St, London WC2H 8DH