13 Jul 2010

'In Her Shoes Again', 'Tell No-One Boutique', 1 Kingsland Rd

A welcome transfer from the hallowed halls of Liberty to the slightly grubbier banks of Kingsland Road, In Her Shoes is a witty and eye catching show of illustrations and products from the fair hand of young illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve.

Her illustrations are deceptively simple graphic representations of all the things that make the world a little bit more stylish. From shoes, dresses and hats, to perfume bottles and portraits, these images document the artist’s belongings, obsessions, friends and fashions.

Her thickly outlined paintings convey a child-like naivety and acute sense of colour and pattern which render her work sweetly disarming.The boutique Tell No-One which hosts the show in the perfect venue for this plethora of homage’s to the material and bonus features include her range of scented candles and notepads. Fashion fans take a peek; Daisy’s hand-made aesthetic of cute will go a long way.
This blog post was written by Natasha Hoare for Fox&Squirrel.

10 Jul 2010

Natasha Hoare on Alice Neel Exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery

The Whitechapel Gallery’s new show of the paintings by Alice Neel struck me as a slightly strange choice of show for a gallery with such a forward thrusting curatorial line. Her figurative oil paintings from the 1930’s – 1980’s stand outside of mainstream art history and criticism. Whilst the big American muscle of her heyday in the 1950’s was in Abstract Expressionism, she was producing a stream of portraits of the cerebral celebrities of her day. Coming so soon after their Elizabeth Payton show, in which wistful watercolours of Jarvis Cocker et al adorned their walls, I wondered if the Whitechapel hadn’t come over all celebrity worshipful.

I am extremely glad, however, that they have decided to give this travelling show a European home. Fresh from exhibition in Huston, Alice’s paintings are beautifully wrought canvas’s which tell the story of the past 100 years of American domestic culture. From labour movements, to Harlem, the Upper East Side and the domestic space, each reveals the turmoil, strain and joy of the times with an honesty and directness. Their lightness of touch and deftness of form is testimony to her incredibly individual and developed painterly skill. Each figure is a transient and immediate rendering of the inner psychology of the sitter – she never sketched or prepared her images, instead marking straight onto the canvas the blue outlines of the figures.