Charlotte Keates (b1990, Somerset, UK) makes paintings inspired by architectural spaces she has visited on her various residencies – some as far afield as Singapore, Japan and Bali. They depict empty houses – presumably someone’s home, but whose, it is unclear, since there are never any personal artefacts on show. Instead, Keates hopes viewers might seek to occupy the space, as they engage with what at first comes across as an architecturally realistic portrayal, only on closer inspection to reveal itself as a dystopian (or should that be utopian?) impossibility, with perspectives that don’t quite work, ladders that stop abruptly, and doorways leading nowhere. She wants the works to be like dreamscapes, depicting the memory and the feeling of a place, rather than the place itself.
Charlotte Keates. An iced flannel against bare skin, 2020. Acrylic and oil on board, 32 x 28.5 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Cristea Roberts Gallery.
For this series of seven paintings on board, Keates made sketches and notes relating to sensory memories and used these as a trigger to begin working when back her studio, seeking to recapture her feelings through the use of colour. It is as much a case, however, of her having to work things out as she goes along, as she hopes it is for the viewer, too. Her works are heavily about the process.
Charlotte Keates. Bordered by Jungle, 2020. Acrylic and oil on board, 100 x 121.8 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Cristea Roberts Gallery.
Studio International spoke to Keates, via Zoom, about this series of works, her wider practice and “collage-like” process of painting, her future direction, and how she likes to set herself near-impossible challenges.
Just What Is It …?
Charlotte Keates | Karen Lederer | Zsofia Schweger | Polly Shindler
Cristea Roberts Gallery, London
21 May – 19 June 2021
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Charlotte Keates. Movement of Water, heard but not seen, 2020. Acrylic and oil on board, 60 x 60 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Cristea Roberts Gallery.
The painting of modern life
This is an outstanding international exhibition, dedicated to a significant section of contemporary painting. It has added lustre to the already tightly packed London galleries and museums programme. Ralph Rugoff, the curator, has applied considerable intellectual power to the exhibition catalogue and agenda. Seldom has a subject seemed to be have been so thoroughly investigated, and to be more appropriate to the cavernous open spaces of the Hayward.
Utopia: the genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye
The exhibition 'Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye' at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra was first planned for Japan, where it was shown in Tokyo and Osaka earlier this year. The opening in Osaka in February took place soon after the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, at his first opening of parliament as Prime Minister - the 42nd Parliament of Australia, on 13 February 2008 - made his historic apology to the stolen generations of Aboriginal people of Australia. Long in the waiting, the Director of the Museum of Australia described Rudd's statement as, '... a defining moment in Australia's history'.
David Hockney Portraits
What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing: you wouldn't be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.' David Hockney
A mid-career retrospective at Tate Britain is enough to cement the reputation of any artist, or else open them up to a critical lashing. Going on the evidence of his best works, Doig deserves his accolade, despite the impression that a more selective hanging might have shown the range of his paintings without an accompanying variation in quality.