sunset in athens

5. 2. 2005 - 12. 3. 2005

Dan Attoe (USA), Sam Herbert (UK), Paula Kane (UK), JP Munro (USA), Anj Smith (UK)

vamiali’s is proud to present the painting group show titled sunset in athens.
Exhibition sunset in athens presents small scale paintings of emerging international artists. The works included in the show have similar influences, the great historical themes, the old masters, the history of art and mythology while at the same time they are introducing a controversial subject matter. Most of the artists are exhibiting for the first time in Athens. All the works in sunset in athens approach a recent tendency that we spot in today's painting, having common characteristics their references to the post-romantic era, obsession to detail, while at the same time they follow a kind of an abstract narration.

These small scale works (most like miniatures) unfold a complicated world. They are following the classical painting genre (vibrant colors, thick pasta on canvas, traditional technique) just to reverse it. While emphasis is given to detail, this which usually appears as “ideal” or “divine”, in this case becomes unexpected almost like a threat. All these seductive and highly skilful executed works transform vamiali’s industrial space into a 21st century “painting salon”.

Dan Attoe (Washington DC, 1975) lives and works in Los Angeles. His oil miniatures seem like fragmented moments of narration that cannot be concluded. Like in a diary, they refer to incidents -autobiographical or not, coincidental or planned- while at the same time they preserve a virtuosity and a time needed that we see in the painting of Renaissance or in the Dutch tradition.

Sam Herbert (London, 1977) lives and works in London. The worlds he presents in his paintings have disappeared. They have passed to history or to the sphere of nostalgia. In our times, words like colonialism and empire are synonyms to exploitation and oppressing systems. But there is a lighter and prettified version as presented in cinema and literature, which seems to invoke the memories of an exotic and almost interesting epoch. In this line with mixed feelings, Herbert moves. By using his sense of humour and seriousness, he recreates places and scenes that although they seem familiar, they are indeed strange and alien.

Paula Kane (Glasgow, 1970) lives and works in London. Her landscapes are at the same time dreamy and familiar. Having as a starting point the recreations of works of the Renaissance and pre-Raphaelites painters, classical landscape, as well as the world of the comics, she balances between the hyper-realistic description and the fantasy, showing worlds that are impressive and at the same time weak and unknown.

JP Munro (California, 1975) lives and works in Los Angeles. Like a good sampler, he mixes themes and scenes from Greek mythology, the legends and the history of the art. Using layers of color and exceptional mastery, he organises his frame in such a way that he creates new images with references from history to punk rock culture, and from sci-fi literature and MTV music industry to the great masters. JP Munro recalls the history of the West, as it is perceived massively by the American culture, and at the same time he assimilates very distinct elements in a very personal style.

Anj Smith (London, 1979) lives and works in London. Portraiture, fashion references, erotic fetishes, illustration coexist within hybrid landscapes in her small scale centre figured paintings. The embossed surface created by thick colors implies a dark eroticism that almost touches the limits of an indirect sexuality. Emphasising on detail, female images change roles, costumes and moods, in a bazaar of suggestions and narrations, all assembled in Smith's dense writing.