John Bicknell: “Defiance and Tolerance: Grey Light Paintings”

12 May 2017

FoKiaNou24/7 Contemporary Art Space, Fokianou 24, 7th floor, Pagrati, Athens, Metro: Evagelismos
Opening: 4 May, 2017, 19:00
Duration: 4 - 27 May, 2017 / Hours: Thursday to Saturday, 17:00-20:00

In John Bicknell’s pale grey paintings, the themes of doubt, failure, faith and paradise are addressed through absurd actions and moments of personal or collective political drama. The narratives derive from observed scenarios, cultural archetypes, news stories and photographs of conflict. Each story is a reflection of human folly, tragedy, and mortality. The underlying gravity and doubt is elevated through dark humour, pointing the way to redemption through failure and resilience.

The absence of colour emphasises the linear image. The image serves the painting, rather than the painting serving the image. Each simple drawn image takes on its own life and logic.The images emerge from a densely worked, excavated surface, over time, which belies the apparent simplicity and facility of the linear image. This reciprocality of density and lightness, of depth and surface, creates a tension which mirrors human contradiction and conflict.

John Bicknell was born in Surrey, UK and lives and works in Athens. He studied at West Surrey School of Art and Design, University of East London and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, where he was awarded the Slade Prize and the Boise travelling scholarship to Italy. He has exhibited widely in Europe and been a recipient of the Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship, The South Bank Prize, London and the John Moores Prize, Liverpool. 

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