Fiona Rae at Timothy Taylor Gallery
Mayfair’s Timothy Taylor Gallery has morphed into a magical vortex with its latest display from Hong Kong-born Fiona Rae. Simply entitled New Paintings, it is Rae’s third solo exhibition in the gallery and features a collection fresh from 2012.
Rae’s New Paintings were inspired after she bought a string of Chinese embroidered pandas in New York, which she has said gave her “reason to make a painting”. One or more pandas feature in each of her 12 paintings: some are laid bare in the forefront, some are concealed in the background. Aiding her investigation into the possibility of art, Rae has stated: “With these pandas as mascots, amulets, protagonists, victims, observers, or whatever their role in each painting might be, I can make a painting that has an angle or an eye on itself, while simultaneously being a full-blooded, full-on manifestation of painterly possibility.”
The results of Rae’s investigations are utterly fascinating. With their splashes of colour, swirling strokes and peek-a-boo pandas, her canvasses are like carefully crafted fairy-tales with glitter, spray paint and symbols caressing each other and jumping boundaries between happiness and sadness. As dreams, nightmares and the unknown unfold around you, Rae transports you to an alternative Narnia and to a visual equivalent of Caliban’s isle that “gives delight yet hurts not”. With every brush stroke you are sucked deeper into the fantastical.
Working under the artistic device of “whatever seems like a good idea at the time”, Rae has created an astounding collection of compelling canvasses which leave you both pondering the propensity of art… and how many pandas one can conceal within a painting. A collection well worth a visit.
Fiona Rae: New Paintings, is at the Timothy Taylor Gallery (18th January – 23rd February). For further information, click here.