Appropriate Matter – Ralph Anderson


Appropriate Matter – Ralph Anderson

Open from 1st September to 26th November 2017


For his first exhibition with C&C Gallery, Anderson is exhibiting his Lucent Umbrastyle of abstract painting which continue his investigation into gesture and form whilst playing with the notions of representation, non-representation and originality in painting.

Process is an important aspect of Anderson’s work. Starting with a primed sheet of aluminium he builds up the painted surface with an assemblage of layered brush marks and will finally fill a chosen mark with a pattern or appropriated image, disturbing the picture plane and juxtaposing a foreign element against the layered background. Once the painting is complete, Anderson begins to painstakingly cut out the negative space with a jigsaw to reveal the structure of brush marks and drips holding the painting together. The name Anderson gives these works, Lucent Umbra, is a deliberate oxymoron. Lucent, meaning shining, and umbra being the darkest part of a shadow, the title refers to the fluorescent backing of each work which when hung off the wall produces a coloured glow and brings the surroundings of the gallery into play with the painting.

The exhibition title, Appropriate Matter, alludes to Anderson’s current appropriation of other artists work into his own. Normally from recent art history he commonly uses the work of Cy Twombly, Gunther Forg and Albert Irvin, however in this body of work he has also sampled contemporary artist Alejandro Guijarro as a reference to Twombly’s Chalkboard Paintings, as well as the felt tip drawings of Molly Greswell, the four year old daughter of artist friend Helen Barff. Anderson uses this very direct way of appropriation as a method to take his work in new directions and also signifies the magpie approach that artists and musicians have taken throughout history. With the use of Molly’s tyronic drawings, Anderson is bringing a very expressionistic and emotive visual reference from outside art history, which along with the chalkboard and palettes evokes the aesthetics of the classroom and learning into the exhibition.

Born in Glasgow in 1977, Anderson now lives and works in London. After gaining a MA in Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Art in 2012 he has gone on to exhibit regularly in the UK. Recent solo exhibitions include Lucent Umbra Paintings, JGM Gallery, London, 2017, The Future of Drip Pop, Art Kapsule, London, 2015 and Retrobate, ArtLacuna, London, 2014.