Joanna Phelps – Wonderland
21 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1AA
I want the paintings to be playful and also set up questions for the viewer about what exactly is happening in the painting without giving too much away. --- Joanna Phelps
Peifen Fine Art in collaboration with Piero Passet Gallery is pleased to present Wonderland, marking Joanna Phelps’ first solo show with the gallery.
Bursting with theatrical, confident gestures, coupled with a bold use of cartoon physics, the work of Joanna Phelps is a fascinating continuation of abstract and pop art. The brushstrokes are rendered as props within an imagined world that is governed by its own laws of physics and playful logic. Phelps presents images for which there is more than one possibility or outcome. This world is a vast ‘Wonderland’ full of objects, each one could be either an intriguing, eccentric creature, living out its life within the painting, or an inanimate thing, governed by the sway of the landscape, toppling and breaking, bouncing and swinging.
They function as abstract paintings, but also have a very real and familiar connection with the world that we inhabit. They are about finding beauty in something simple and present a fragmented way of looking at the world around us. Phelps’ paintings are either very small or very large with little in between. This has something to do with the relationship a painting has with the human body. The small paintings are on a scale not dissimilar to handwriting and the larger works are at a size that can be ‘stepped into’.
Joanna Phelps was born in 1984 in Hampshire. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Royal Academy of Arts in London and a BA from Bath School of Art and Design in Somerset. Her work has been shown in many group exhibitions throughout UK and Europe. She has been awarded a number of important commissions and prizes, including Mizuho Bank commission (2008), the Dunoyer de Segonzac Award (2008), Landseer Prize (2008) and shortlisted for Jerwood Contemporary Painters (2009) and “John Moores 25” exhibition (2008).
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