A collaborative conversation between Boylan and Rivers, Fancy explores the Jean Antoine Watteau painting L’Enseigne de Gersaint. Originally painted as a sign for the art dealer Edme Francois Gersaint in 1720, Watteau’s painting is executed across two canvases. Fancy moves between two divisions of windows that are split between two separate vantages.
Watteau’s painting occupies both the inside and outside attendance of space. Rivers supports this sense of presence with fabric pieces that move between the interior shadowy and smokey depths that entice and the wistful street that invites us into the image.
Boylan’s paintings focus our attention on individuals absorbed within the environment of Watteau’s original painting. However, stripping the specific and unifying setting from these characters, Boylan concentrates their attention to a now ambiguous space.
Surface texture and spatial theatrics animate the perspective of the space itself. Rivers’s fabrics move across horizontal and vertical planes of illusion, whilst Boylan’s paintings reveal characters somewhere in between coming into being or fading away. Both artists’ individual works distinctly use Watteau’s ethereal qualities, but adjacent to one another, an innate singular quality emerges.
Robert Rivers, born Guildford 1983. Recent shows include Premonitions TAP, Southend 2013, Big Dinner Limbo, Margate 2013 andThe Slade MFA Degree Show 2013.
Seán Boylan, born USA 1984. Recent shows include Saatchi Gallery and Channel Four’s New Sensations 2013, Right Ascension/Wrong Declension Old Tidemill School 2013, The Slade MFA Degree Show2013, and You Are There Performance Space London 2013.