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Indepth Arts News:

"Ross Chisholm: Corporation"
2006-01-22 until 2006-02-19
IBID Projects
London, , UK United Kingdom

IBID PROJECTS is pleased to present the first solo show of artist Ross Chisholm. Much of the imagery that Chisholm works with is originally found, either taken from boxes of slides in junk shops or lifted from historical paintings. Such sources entail a heightened realism that opens up bizarre worlds teetering on the brink of credibility. Yet behind these meticulously painted figures, backgrounds are sketched loosely, almost to the point of abstraction. By wilfully combining disparate styles, Chisholm seems to be playing with the notion of paintings as reconstructions of reality. As a painter he asks us to regard the works, simultaneously, as referential image and impassive surface. Skill becomes one tool among many used to create an atmosphere of uncertainty that permeates all the works, a seemingly light-hearted approach that masks a deeper exploration into the possibilities of painting. Identities are lost and the works made strange as faces are blocked from view, made into mushrooms, or smudged out of recognition.

Repetition of elements, a particular figure, or this mushroom or that tree, builds enigmatic relationships between individual works. Mushrooms especially re-appear in work after work, growing in the dark landscapes, obscuring the heads of figures, or parading across the stormy skies of Old Master paintings. These lusciously painted mushrooms, borrowed from a nineteen-fifties guidebook, carry connotations of death and decay when combined with images of people now long-gone; when they appear over cloudy, threatening skies, the implications are much darker. Nevertheless, their pinks and yellows begin to drip down the surface of the canvas, and their bright colours and guidebook style subvert this serious commentary. At any time the carefully handled paint can return to its liquid, uncontrolled form. There is a continual dialogue between meaning and surface in which the paintings collectively undermine any possibility of conclusive narratives or suspension of the viewers’ disbelief. Chisholm presents us with strange worlds that can be neither trusted nor dismissed. Ross Chisholm was born in Redhill, UK, in 1977. He completed his postgraduate diploma in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in London in 2004 and has since exhibited work in Bloomberg Space in London and in IBID PROJECTS, Vilnius. Chisholm lives and works in London.

Ross Chisholm
Crownslag, 2005
oil on canvas
40.5 x 50.5 cm

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