Lovers and other spectres
Ken Kiff, Caroline Achaintre, Xiao-yang Li, Leigh Curtis, Lucy Stein, Philipp Simon, Andrew Cranston
30 June - 28 July 2018
PV Friday 29 June 2018 6-9pm
The mythological, the spiritual, and just rotten bad dreams weave tightly into the consciousness that we each use to navigate the everyday. It isn’t possible to police the separation between the rational and any number of other projected (or embodied) anxieties. Each glance is haunted by a miss-seeing, and each utterance is overshadowed by storms of contradiction, self-doubt and regret. The only way to keep going is to welcome these spectres to be a real part our selves and our stories.
This exhibition does just that. It welcomes these interruptions, allowing them to be manifest as material presences with their own potent agency in the forms, bodies and narratives that inhabit a gathering of painting and sculpture.
Caroline Achaintre (b.1969) was born in Toulouse and currently lives and works in London. She
studied Fine Art at Kunsthochschule in Halle/Saale (1996-1998), followed by postgraduate studies in
Fine Art and Combined Media at Chelsea College of Art & Design, London (1998-2000) and an MA in
Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London in 2003. Achaintre has had solo exhibitions at FRAC
Champagne–Ardenne, Reims; BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Art, Gateshead; Tate Britain, London
and Castello di Rivoli, Turin. Recent group shows include: The British Art Show 8, touring at John Hansard
Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton; Norwich University of the Arts and Norwich
Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich; Scottish National Gallery of the Arts, Edinburgh (2016) and
Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds (2015). Achaintre is currently showing in the 13th Baltic Triennial – Give Up
The Ghost, in Vilnius, Riga, Lithuania.
Andrew Cranston (b. 1969) lives and works in Glasgow. He studied for a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at
Grays School of Art, Aberdeen and completed an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 1996.
Selected solo exhibitions include; Henderson Blyth’s Drawer, Look Again: Visual Art and Design
Festival, Aberdeen (2016); Andrew Cranston: Paintings from a room, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2016)
and Rob Tuffnell, London (2015). Group shows include: Outside curated by Matthew Higgs, Karma,
New York (2016); Mac International, Mac Arts Centre, Belfast (2014) and John Moores Painting Prize,
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2012).
Leigh Curtis graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Slade School of Fine Art in 1997, followed by an MA
in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 2001. Recent group exhibitions include: Situations Glom (3
person show with Ben Prosser and Jonathan Farr), Mercer Chance Gallery, London (2018); 100%
Southend, Twenty One, Southend (2017); The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Charlie Smith Gallery,
London (2016) and Stolen, L13, London (2011). Leigh was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award in 1998
and was nominated for the Beck’s Futures Prize by Billy Childish in 2001.
Ken Kiff (1935-2001) was born in Dagenham and trained at Hornsey School of Art from 1955-1961. His
work has been exhibited internationally and is held in a number of major public collections. He was
elected to the Royal Academy in 1991 and became Associate Artist at the National Gallery 1991-93. He
has had major solo exhibitions at the National Gallery, London (1993-94); Marlborough Fine Art, London
(2008, 2001, 1996 & 1991); Edward Thorp Gallery New York (1982 & 1986) and the Serpentine Gallery,
London (1986), among others. Selected group shows include: Magic and Strong Medicine, selected by
Norbert Lynton, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1973); The British Art Show, Ikon Gallery and City Gallery
Museum, Birmingham (1984); Tree of Life, Southbank Centre, London, Corner House Gallery,
Manchester (1989) and British Figurative Art, Part One: Painting - The Human Figure, Flowers East,
Xiao-yang Li (b.1985, Harbin, China) lives and works in London. She completed an MA in Fine Art at
Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2012, followed by MRes Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and
Design in 2013. Recent exhibitions include solo show Totem Index, Narrative Projects, London (2017)
and group shows: Teratology, Barbican Arts Group Trust, London (2018); Night Plinths, Narrative
Projects, London (2018) and Wild Flowers (wildness is contextual!), Narrative Projects, London (2017).
Xiao-yang was also an exhibiting artist for Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2014).
Philipp Simon (b.1987) lives and works in Berlin and graduated from Kunsthochschule Berlin-
Weißensee in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include: The Third Person, Schiefe Zähne,
Berlin (2018); Buffet der guten Zwecke (with Lukas Quietzsch), Kunstverein Freiburg, (2017); Open
Doors are Scary, Book Release, Berlin (2016); Antreffen. Aufrufen. Ansteigen. Einchecken. Gefühle,
Zeiten des Kapitalismus, China (2016) and OK - I Love you, Cologne (2016). Selected group exhibitions
include: Look, all this is fraud, Milieux, Bern (2017); If it‘s right or wrong, it‘s probably right, W139,
Amsterdam (2017) and Der Schneckentraum, Suicidal Oil Piglet, Melbourne (2017).
Lucy Stein (b.1979) lives and works in Cornwall. She studied at De Ateliers, Amsterdam from 2004-
2006 after graduating with a BA (Hons) in Painting from The Glasgow School of Art in 2004. Recent solo
exhibitions include: KNOCKERS, Glaerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich (2018); Crying The Neck (with Nina
Royle), NICC, Brussels (2017); On Celticity organised with Paola Clerica, Rodeo Gallery, London (2016)
and Regression (as BLISS with Simon Bayliss), Kingsgate Project Space, London (2016). Previous
group exhibitions include: Hummadruz, curated by Field Notes, Newlyn Art Gallery, in collaboration with
Art Cornwall and the Museum of Witchcraft, Penzance (2018); Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by
her writing, curated by Laura Smith at Tate St. Ives; Pallant House Gallery, West Sussex and The
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (2018) and Frivolous Convulsions, Turf Projects, Croydon, South