9 October, 2015 - 9 October 2016
Essence of a Thing
The House of St Barnabas
1 Greek Street, London W1D 4NQ
Known for her colourful and geometric site-specific works in the public realm both in the UK and internationally, artist Sinta Tantra creates a series of paintings for the Soho Room – a panelled room located on the ground floor of the House of St Barnabas.
The title of the exhibition plays on a quote by the Modernist sculptor Naum Gabo: “Colour is accidental and has nothing in common with the essence of a thing.” Tantra’s paintings, however – bold patterns and vivid arrangements of shape, defined by pigmented brushstrokes – enthusiastically disagree: colour is, in fact, the very essence of a thing.
In this exhibition, Tantra draws our attention to the exposed, raw elements of the canvas. This contrast between paint and non-paint, smooth and rough, covered and bare, creates a tension between the two- and three-dimensional, highlighting her use of tessellation and pattern.
Similar to her public art practice (most notably a 300-metre painted bridge in Canary Wharf, London, created for the 2012 Olympics), these patterns are computer-designed. However, whilst Tantra’s large-scale public commissions involve teams of people, often working on an industrial scale, here the focus is on the textile aspects of decoration and craft – each work is hand-painted.
“Colour exists as an integral aspect to my work and I am drawn to colour as a material which lies between the language of art and industry. Colour exists within its own structure – it is densely packed, hermetically sealed, contained. My work takes on a sculptural approach to ‘colour-collage’ where colour is ‘cut’ as opposed to filled, ‘layered’ as opposed to mixed, ‘constructed’ as opposed to emerged. Geometric boundaries are definitive and illusionary highs ‘snap’ into place as you walk around the work.”
The art programme at The House of St Barnabas features both established and emerging artists. Hosting temporary exhibitions in each of the rooms which changes, collaborating with galleries such as the White Cube, Stephen Friedman Gallery and Spruth Magers. The permanent collection features donated works from artists such as Tracey Emin, The Chapman Brothers and Yinka Shonibare MBE as well as the rising stars of the contemporary art scene.
Feel free to join the free art tour of the collection held on the first Friday of every month from 1-2pm. Booking essential, please note that the The House of St Barnabas is a private members club. For viewings and admittance, please contact Katie Heller, firstname.lastname@example.org