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CHARLIE SMITH london: JOHN STARK - Apiculture - 7 Oct 2011 to 12 Nov 2011

Current Exhibition

7 Oct 2011 to 12 Nov 2011
Wednesday–Saturday 11am–6pm or by appointment
Private View: Thursday October 6th 6.30pm–8.30pm
2nd Floor
336 Old Street
United Kingdom
T: +44 020 7739 4055

John Stark, In Times of Exactness and Uncertainty, 2011
Oil on wood panel
110 x 145cm
Web Links


Artist Links

Jennifer Allen
Emma Bennett
Sam Jackson
Sarah McGinity
Alex Gene Morrison
Gavin Nolan
Dominic Shepherd
John Stark
Gavin Tremlett

Artists in this exhibition: John Stark


October 7th - November 12th 2011
Private View Thursday October 6th 6.30pm–8.30pm

CHARLIE SMITH london is delighted to present John Stark with his second one person exhibition at the gallery.

In this exhibition Stark has created a body of work that gravitates towards the centre of his preoccupations of the last three years. Rendered with masterly technique in oil on panel, Stark’s paintings transcend time by navigating the historical, the contemporary and the futuristic. At once his content recalls the Flemish landscape painting of Patinir; the figure work of Zurbarán and Sassoferrato; and the minimal Modernism of Judd. We are invited to assume that these depictions are posited at some point in an imagined future. Figures bustle amongst sporadic buildings in verdant foregrounds and backgrounds made of ever receding waterways and rocky out-crops. However, on further consideration it becomes unclear as to whether these vistas are a futuristic wondering or rather a rendition of some eternally recurring cycle.

Central to this creation of non (but all encompassing) time and place are the endeavours of the populace within. Colonies of beekeepers tend to their colonies of bees. Hooded and masked figures labour in the landscape in a collaborative enterprise to create liquid gold. Analogous to the intensive work of the artist, all are toiling here, all creating. Stark has also begun to provide more information. There is no doubt that we are exploring a utilitarian society consisting of communities inhabiting historic towers and fortifications; postmodern and prototype dwellings and units; and everyone and everything has its function.

We are not being directed however. These paintings are a virtuoso display of artist as vessel. They are depictions from an internal world but which also touch upon universal aspects of existence, traversing expansive leitmotifs that embrace philosophy, spirituality, and the histories of art and thought (and feeling). Operating as a collection of paintings that work together as a group, the whole refers to each individual part and in turn each part serves to provide an understanding of the whole. There is only one more component required to interpret the circle of endeavour of artist and subjects in these allegorical paintings and that is the psychology of the viewer.

Please contact gallery for images and further information


Born: 1979

Education: MA in Fine Art, Royal Academy Schools, 2001 – 2004; BA (Hons) in Fine Art (First Class), University of West England, 1998 - 2001

Selected Exhibitions: 2011: The Saatchi Gallery & Channel 4’s New Sensations and The Future Can Wait, Victoria House, London; Black & White, Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin; Polemically Small (curated by Edward Lucie-Smith), Klaipeda Culture Communication Centre, Klaipeda; The Future Can Wait presents: Polemically Small, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance; 2010: Mercurius Duplex (One Person), Conner Contemporary Art, Washington; Dawnbreakers John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; 2009: Meliora Silentio, CHARLIE SMITH london, London; Secrets and Confessions, Ana Cristea Gallery, New York; Romance Derived (thecentre:MK Annual Painting Prize), thecentre:mk, Milton Keynes; Saxon, Schwartz Projects, London; Strange Days and Some Flowers, Storey Gallery, Lancaster; 2008: The Sovereign European Art Prize, Somerset House, London; The Past is History, Changing Role Gallery, Naples; New London School, Mark Moore Gallery, LA; Eau Savage II, Fieldgate Gallery, London, 2007; Kaminzimmer, Grieder Contemporary, Zurich

Selected Awards & Residencies: Arts Council Exhibition Award for ’Altered Beast’, London, 2006; Arts Council Exhibition Participation Award, 2005; Royal Academy Schools & Loughborough University School of Art and Design Artist’s Residency & Teaching Fellowship, 2004-2005; Royal Academy Schools Rome Travel Bursary, 2004; Premiums Award - The Victoria Levin Fund, 2003

Collections: P. Ognibene, MD, Washington DC; David Roberts, London; private collections in Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States

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