Stuart Shave/Modern Art present the first solo exhibition of new work by the British artist Ansel Krut. With this exhibition we are delighted to welcome this extraordinary painter to the gallery programme.
There is a measured and psychedelic cast of protagonists in Krut’s paintings that revel in absurd creativity. This quality of absurdity in Krut’s images is vital, yet needn’t be overplayed, as it belies the subtlety and sophistication of his characterisation, and his sincere exercise of technique.
Krut’s new paintings bring the strength and assurance of a mature practice to the energy and joyfulness of continued unfolding and discovery in his image making. His paintings deftly employ a genuine understanding of the conventions, traditions and values of painting, with a sound awareness of the recent century’s stylistic movements and periods of figuration. Krut’s painting is not an academic exercise, and while in places his painting and composition suggests a nod to the modern canon, this is not at risk of being overstated or reduced to a subject. The new paintings he has made for this exhibition at Modern Art have a lightness of touch which lends a feeling of freshness and timeliness.
Krut’s technique is to construct his surface with layers of nuanced paint application in which there is a strong relationship to drawing and pictorial space. For his show at Modern Art, Ansel Krut has created a confident and buoyant new group of paintings. Each canvas carries a very particular and spirited character. Fans, vortexes, geometric angles, dynamic shapes and judiciously placed eyebrows recur throughout his compositions – suggesting physical form to a menagerie of exotic dancers, pipe-smokers and deviants. Krut’s imagery dances ahead of us in a series of new paintings that picture displaced objects – such as bottles, armchairs, whirlwinds, flowers and onions – that have been embodied with features and infused with personality, within his ever-expanding repertoire of abject portraiture.
Ansel Krut was born in 1959, and lives and works in London. He graduated with anMA in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 1986, after which he was awarded the Abbey Major scholarship to the British School in Rome. He attended the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (1982-1983), and completed his BA in Fine Art at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1979-1982).