Ann-Marie James: Sea Change
Lyndsey Ingram is proud to present their first exhibition of the British artist Ann-Marie James (b. 1981) in collaboration with Karsten Schubert. In this show, as well as in a forthcoming project at Kettle’s Yard and several solo shows in museums across the UK, James reimagines and reinterprets historical images, creating vibrant and innovative work.
At Lyndsey Ingram, James will present new work referencing two master printmakers, Kanagawa Hokusai (1760 – 1849) and Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528). A series of nine vivid, abstract paintings on aluminium panel respond to Hokusai’s The Great Wave (c.1829). These will be shown alongside intricate, monochrome drawings inspired by Dürer’s clouds in Madonna with a Monkey (1498) and The Sea Monster (1498 – 1501). A fully- illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with an original essay by art historian Dawn Adès.
James’s work will hang alongside original impressions of old master prints, including of Dürer’s The Sea Monster, which has been generously loaned by the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. The show is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with a scholarly essay by art historian Dawn Adès.
James combines traditional printmaking techniques with painting and drawing to create unique works with complex layers. She seeks to transform images and materials into something ‘rich and strange’ in the words from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. For James, metamorphosis – the notion of alchemy and transformation, taken from the writings of Ovid and Kafka - is at once a source of inspiration, an artistic technique, a metaphor for the creative process and for how we perceive the world around us:
‘I am interested in how we repeat images and ideas in one long cultural conversation – a narrative that stretches back to antiquity and myth. So I start with a recognizable image that I can transmute into something else. I quote the image as a found object in my work, using it almost as a brush mark. In the case of the Hokusai, I am quoting the whole work. With Durer, I am using details – quoting excerpts.’
In her ‘After Hokusai’ paintings, the artist layers screen-printed motifs of Hokusai’s iconic wave. Using silkscreen as a form of mark-making, she produces an elusive image whose viscous swathes of Prussian blue paint cause the surface to swim before our eyes.
‘I am drawn to the ubiquity of Hokusai’s wave,’ she says. ‘We see this image reproduced and resized everywhere - posters, postcards, even an emoji – yet it is always recognizable. I want to explore the idea of reconfiguring this iconic image, transforming it into something new. There is a constant act of visual excavation.’
The ‘After Dürer’ drawings reference Dürer’s clouds, which James isolates, extracts and makes rubber stamps from. These repeated shapes become the foundational building block for her drawings. The complex layers of drawing and print weave a dense web of delicate lines and tracery. Her work retains a memory of the source image while transforming it into an abstract composition with its own visual language.
For low-res image sheet please click here Notes for Editors:
The show of Ann-Marie James at Lyndsey Ingram this summer coincides with a series of shows dedicated to the artist in public museums throughout the UK this year, including a special residency project at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (9 July – 2 September). In this historic modernist home and gallery, she has been commissioned to install new work in Helen Ede’s bedroom, following in the footsteps of artists such as Cornelia Parker and Julie Mehretu.
In addition, Ann-Marie James’s solo exhibition ALCHEMY is at the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes 24 May - 26 August.
This exhibition will then tour the Southwest of England to the following venues:
21 September 2019 – 4 January 2020 Poole Museum
1 February 2020 – 19 April 2020
Dorset County Museum Summer 2020