The second iteration of Incubator opens later this month, the highly adrenalised series of six back-to-back week-long solo exhibitions showcasing the work of emerging artists working in London, initiated and led by Angelica Jopling. Building on the success of ‘Incubator 21’, which brought renewed attention to London’s emerging artists, ‘Incubator 22’ is the manifestation of the growth of the Incubator programme.
‘Incubator 22’ will take place from 27th April – 5th June 2022 at A. Society, 2 Chiltern Street, London W1, the artists featured are Mary Stephenson, Xavia Duke Richards, Archie Boon, John Richard, C. Lucy R. Whitehead and Alicja Biala.
After two years of virtual exhibitions as well as recent government funding cuts of the arts in the UK, Incubator arose as a response to the growing need for emerging artists to articulate their vision through individualised exhibitions. Nascent artists rarely get the opportunity to exhibit their work in a solo capacity and in a dedicated space and, last year, ‘Incubator 21’ did just that. ‘Incubator 22’ aims to continue the mission.
About the artists
Mary Stephenson (b. 1989, London) 27th April – 1st May
Mary Stephenson was raised in London and is currently completing her MFA at the Royal Academy of Arts. Stephenson’s canvases are undercut with a distinctive, dark comedy as bright and highly saturated worlds shift between the familiar and the uncanny. Exploring the liminal space that exists between the unconscious and conscious world, Stephenson’s painting process is rapid, in an attempt to chase and crystallise internal dialogues. Referring to these canvases as ‘pregnant spaces,’ Stephenson allows a mysterious, cinematic space for the unconscious to grow.
Xavia Duke Richards (b. 1999, Jamaica) 4 – 8 May
Xavia Duke Richards is a painter and poet, currently studying Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts. Richards’ most recent series of impasto paintings attempt to capture the symbiosis between human emotional states and natural disasters through bulging canvases of thickly layered stirrups of paint, tarry, dry pigment, and sand. Shifting between a style of all-over abstraction and a schematic architectural abstraction, Richards’ paintings offer a material sensation to the formless chaos that arises in the rage of a crashing wave or the light-seeking depths of depression.
John Richard (b. 1975, Birmingham) 11 – 15 May
Having spent childhood summers in the hidden coves of Purbeck, Dorset, John Richard has harboured a lifelong attraction to the ocean. Despite maintaining a close relationship to the outdoors throughout his life, Richard has spent most of his career as a portrait photographer and has only recently turned his lens towards the natural world. For the last three years, he has dedicated himself solely to photographing the sea at dawn. The series exhibited is the culmination of this effort, capturing the immensity and reflective allure of the ocean in its varying forms. Currently living next to Birdham Pool marina, Richard engineers his week around weather forecasts, searching for mercurial moments of supernatural beauty that he immortalises with technical virtuosity. The results are still-frame moments of a world in otherwise perpetual movement — a celebration of the subtle yet transformative effect the sea has upon our senses.
Archie Boon (b. 2000, Cambridge) 18 – 22 May
Archie Boon was raised in the town of Saffron Walden, a bucolic environment that has provided the inspiration for many of his paintings. Moving to London to study Fine Art Painting at Camberwell College of Arts, the gardens and allotments of his childhood have continued to influence his work as he gently abstracts the natural landscape with muted colour palettes and dynamic full-body brushstrokes on large-scale canvases. Incubator 22 will show Boon’s most recent body of work, ‘Windmill Hill,’ which explores the man-made gardens and allotments as well as the natural landscape of the area. The imposing canvases allow an intimacy with the amorphous landscape, as one immerses oneself in Boons’ masterful balance of figuration and abstraction.
C. Lucy R. Whitehead (b. 1991, Liverpool) 25 – 29 May
C. Lucy R. Whitehead is a painter and a recent MA graduate from the Royal College of Art. Whitehead’s work explores the fragile relationship between the physical and material self, between individuals and the collective. The burning pinks, pulsing blues, and sallow greys; the bloating, blushing, sagging and the swelling; Whitehead’s figures are devoid of any discernible identity or gender, pushing and pulling at the edges of the canvas. Like catching one’s warped reflection in bath taps, Whitehead’s anthropomorphic structures straddle the line between the joyous and the grotesque, the familiar and the absurd, teetering on the edge of plausibility.
Alicja Biala (b. 1993, Poland) 1 – 5 June
Alicja Biala works in London and is currently enrolled at the Royal Drawing School and at the Royal College of Art where she is completing her MA. Raised in a Polish household with her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, Biala has existed at the nexus of a generational dialogue spanning 8 decades across wars, displacements, borders being incessantly redrawn, communism and collective pain. Incubator 22 presents Biala’s recent zinc and copper plate etchings, an amalgam of fragments of collective ancestry and cultural history that she manipulates, often humorously, to bring the scars of the past into the present. Biala cuts into a cultural history and speculative future in the hope that truth will leak out, always questioning: Where have we been, and where might we go?
‘Incubator 22’ 27th April – 5th June 2022 at A. Society, 2 Chiltern Street, London W1
Angelica Jopling was born in London in 1997. She graduated with an Honours degree in History of Art from Stanford University in 2020, followed by a Master’s degree in Curating at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2021. Throughout her time at university, Angelica gained experience working in various artists’ studios and archives as well as at The Barbican. ‘Incubator’ marks her first independent, professional foray into the art world.
Clara Galperin (b. 1994) was raised in Argentina. She completed her undergraduate and Master’s degree in History of Art at Stanford in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Since then, Clara has gained experience in museum work at SFMOMA, foundation work at the Institute for Study of Latin American Art in New York, and auction work at Christie’s. Currently, Clara lives and works in London, advising private collectors.