The Blue Hour
Curated by Rowena Chiu
The Gallery at Carousel, London
A one night exhibition on 7 October 2016

Richard Evans
Romana Londi
Nathaniel Rackowe
Hiraki Sawa
David Spero
Douglas White

The title of the exhibition derives from the Blue Hour – the time of day moments before the sun rises and immediately after the sun sets, where a blue hue imbues the atmosphere and it is impossible to determine whether it is day or night. Time is suspended and ambiguity and openness prevail.

Richard Evans’ elegant abstracted steel sculptures animate the space through their anthropomorphism. Taking as their source material choreographer Martha Graham’s celebrated ballet, Lamentation, which investigates the processes of grief, Evans captures fleeting movement in these works, isolating, reducing and freezing gesture with a nod to modernist sculpture. Here the fabric of Graham’s costume is translated into paint; the bones of the dancer into armature. A suite of monotone prints depict tactile, similarly shamanistic figures derived from sculpture made in the studio and now destroyed. These sculptures incorporated products commonly used on the body – such as Vaseline and make-up – on their surfaces, resulting in half- remembered corporeal texture. The two bodies of works in the exhibition illustrate Evans’ concern with recall and representation of memory.

Romana Londi’s practice experiments with the perimeters of painting. Encompassing abstract mark-making, gestural painting, performance and sculpture, the works are conceived on the untamed recto-verso environments of unprimed cotton. Exploring dualities such as the intentional versus incidental and impulsion versus restraint through the processes of painting, dyeing, dripping, bleaching and scraping, Londi’s Happenstance series are sites of subconscious demarcation. A newly commissioned painting by the artist for this exhibition explores the concept of the blue hour.

Nathaniel Rackowe’s multi-faceted sculptures draw inspiration from urban landscapes. Carefully condensing his explorations of material, form and relation to human scale, Rackowe assembles abstracted architectural topographies through the layering of aluminium, fluorescent lighting and dichroic glass to produce an evershifting dance between spectator and object. Though Rackowe’s creations appear almost nocturnal, their clean lines and polished surfaces suggest a quasi-Utopian sensibility, allowing light to structure space by emulating the way that it delineates buildings, city blocks and streets.

Hiraki Sawa’s haptic video works Sleeping Machine I and II are composed of a series of carefully-paced black and white vignettes accompanied by fluctuating soundscapes. Portraying fragmentary, sparsely-lit void domestic scenes and surreal urban landscapes, the works evoke notions of nostalgia, longing, memory and displacement. Presented in the exhibition on small monitors, the artist invites the viewer to enter his intricately observed worlds.

David Spero’s saturated images of horizons are captured in real time over an extended period. He translates the blue hour through unedited analogue photography, preserving and suspending a moment in time. Through his work, Spero explores man’s place in the universe both physically and psychologically, encapsulating metaphorical space and the sublime.

Douglas White’s moon series employs the transmutative quality of wax to create an ephemeral impression. White pours melted candle wax into boiling water, allowing the material to float, cool and harden as an organic skin on the surface. Illuminated within a light-box, this fragile and discrete work resurrects the source material through this alchemical process.

Richard Evans (b. 1976, UK) studied MFA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art. Recent solo projects include Orgy Park, New York; Southfirst, New York; U.R.A, Istanbul for the Istanbul Biennial; Maureen Paley, London and Dior Homme, Hong Kong. Group exhibitions include The Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide: British Art Now at Art Gallery of South Australia; Newspeak at the Saatchi Gallery and at The Hermitage, St. Petersburg and NUL at Foxy Production, New York. His works are in the Arnault Collection, the de Pury Collection and the Saatchi Collection, amongst others.

Romana Londi (b. 1983, Italy) studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins and Art Theory at the University of East London. Selected exhibitions include a solo show at Hooper Projects, LA; From Hands to Mouth, a solo exhibition at Rove Gallery, London and The Limits of Law, a group exhibition by STATE Art at Freies Museum, Berlin.

Nathaniel Rackowe (b. 1975, UK) studied MFA Sculpture at The Slade School of Fine Art and has participated in solo shows including The Luminous City at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London; Radiant trajectory at Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai and Edge Lands at Galerie Jérôme Pauchant, Paris. Commissions include Black Cube at DEN FRIE Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; Black Beacon, a commission for Calvin Klein, NY and residencies include the Delfina Foundation, London. His works are in the David Roberts Art Collection, Jumex Collection, LVMH art collection and the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Lima, amongst others.

Hiraki Sawa (b. 1977, Japan) received his BFA from the University of East London and his MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art. Solo exhibitions include the Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo; Chisenhale Gallery, London; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne;Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. His works are in the British Council Collection, the Israel Museum Collection, the Smithsonian Institute Collection and the Collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Photography, amongst others.

David Spero (b.1963, UK) studied Photography at the Royal College of Arts and has exhibited in solo shows at The Northern Photography Centre, Oulu, Finland; New Art Gallery, Walsall and The Photographer's Gallery, London. He has also participated in an artist residency at The British School of Rome. His works are in the collections of the British Council and Victoria & Albert Museum.

Douglas White (b. 1977, UK) studied sculpture at The Royal College of Art, London and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. Solo exhibitions include Splendor Solis at Eden Rock Gallery, St Barth; New Skin for an Old Ceremony at Paradise Row, London; Black Sun at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin and Masquerade at Malta Contemporary Art, Valletta. His works are in the collections of David Roberts Art Foundation, Frank Cohen Collection and Saatchi Collection, amongst others.