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Hurvin Anderson 'Reporting Back'

— September 2013

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Hurvin Anderson, Untitled.

25 September – 10 November 2013

Ikon gallery in Birmingham, UK, is currently showing the most comprehensive exhibition to date of paintings by British  artist Hurvin Anderson (b.1965). Anderson's works, drawn from his personal experience, evoke sensations of being caught between one  place and another.

The show surveys the artist's career,  including work made shortly after he graduated from the Royal College of Art,  London, in 1998, through the acclaimed ‘Peter's Series’ (2007–9), inspired by his  upbringing in Birmingham's Afro-Caribbean community, and works arising  out of time spent in Trinidad in 2002.

Filling Ikon's entire exhibition space, ‘Reporting Back’ traces the development of Anderson's distinct figurative style.  Anderson arrived on the international art scene with ‘Peter's Series’, a number of  paintings depicting the interiors of barbers' shops, in particular one (owned by  Peter) visited by Anderson with his father as a boy. A converted attic serving as an improvised salon for conversation as well as for cutting hair, this was a social retreat vital for many male members of the local Caribbean community; a place he equates  to an English garden shed. By painting this subject, the artist was exploring a  formative psychological moment, and by returning to it pictorially he takes us with  him on a journey that is as sentimental as it is a faithful representation. 

It is significant that often Anderson depicts sites of leisure, where the mind is  usually free to wander. He talks often of being in one place ‘but actually thinking  about another’, a fact of his life arising out of his cultural background. He grew up in  the English Midlands preoccupied with visions of a warmer, more colourful 'other  country' and from this experience has developed a way of seeing which he describes  as ‘slightly outside of things’. Later paintings of the Caribbean embody this kind of perception with verdant green colour glimpsed behind close-up details of the fences  and security grilles found in residential areas, or an expanse of water or desolate  approach separating us, the viewer, from the point of interest in the centre ground.  This method of composition signifies at once a kind of social and political segregation, a smartness with respect to the business of picture making, amounting  to a kind of semi-detached apprehension of what Anderson encounters. 

A major monograph illustrating works from across the artist's career will be  published to accompany the exhibition, including texts by Jennifer Higgie, writer and  co-editor ofFrieze.    

Ikon Gallery
1 Oozells Square
B1 2HS

tel. +44 (0) 121 248 0708 / fax. +44 (0) 121 248 0709

Ikon Gallery is a registered charity no. 528892

Ikon is open Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 11a.m.–6p.m.

Admission is free.

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