Another country is a show about painting - about it’s practice (its formal concerns, its material limitations and endlessly provisional solutions), but also about the unspoken dialogue that painters have with the work of others. The show is an attempt to illuminate a process normally confined to the privacy of the studio and to indicate some ways in which the concerns of the past (as revealed through the examples of modern italian art in the Estorick’s collection) are reframed in the present.
For these painters it is not a question of influence, or even of exploring italianness, but of individual concerns in which certain ideas (and their resolution in paint) find resonance across time: Tim Hyman’s concern with figurative painting and how it survives in hostile climates, Lino Mannocci’s with the viability of the metaphysical impulse in painted form, Andrzej Jackowski’s with poetry and visual metaphor, and Merlin James’ with how the meaning invested in an artwork mutates when represented in another medium (painting as photography, sculpture as painting). For myself it has been a more elemental kind of discovery, of an artist I hadn’t encountered before (Zoran Music) but whose outlook and practice struck a personal chord: through his love of remote territory, with how the traces of time and history become embedded in the fabric of a place, and how it persists in memory.
Another Country continues at the Estorick Collection, London, until 20 June 2010