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Exhibition graphic for two person show with Carolyn Case at Taymour Grahne Projects

Taymour Grahne Projects is pleased to present Intergenerational Abstraction, an online two-person show featuring new works by Baltimore-based artist Carolyn Case and East Sussex (UK)-based artist Rhiannon Inman-Simpson, opening virtually on March 22. The dialogue between the two artists offers an opportunity to observe the ways in which different generations approach abstraction today.

Both artists allow a discourse to form between themselves and the paint as they work, letting the culmination of marks and colours inform them as they go. This way of working requires a level of trust and assurance in the process, letting go of attachments and expectations of the outcome. Inman-Simpson and Case are thoughtful and considerate with the paint, without being precious, resulting in a captivating, bold body of work.

Rhiannon Inman-Simpson’s works are informed by her physical, bodily experience of place. Her interest in particular sensations that are specific to the human experience stem from a desire to capture the essence of what it is to feel alive: sensations such as moving limbs through water, bright light shining through closed eyelids, the warmth of sunlight on bare skin. Inman-Simpson seeks to visually translate these feelings into her uniquely ethereal and metaphysical works. The interaction between the overlapping, side-by-side forms represents a shift between internal and external spaces. At once intimate and expansive, Inman-Simpson effectively captures the feeling of place. The variety in weight and density of the marks presents the artist’s visual translation of her physical movements, in parts they are translucent, in parts they are solid.

Inman-Simpson begins her paintings with a selection of a few colours and without a particular result in mind, allowing for her intuitive process to unfold. This inquisitive way of working speaks to her meditative style of painting. Exploring the endless limits of abstraction, the artist often combines soft dynamic marks with more grounded, rich forms. She describes the visual qualities that she works towards as having an elusive and transient nature, experimenting with the paint until the desired result has settled in front of her.

Inman-Simpson’s use of colour is a central element of her practice, as she constantly explores the physical and emotive properties of different tones and shades. Her colour choices fluctuate between vibrant saturation and earthly pastels, each creating atmospheres of varying temperatures. The emotive quality of her colours in enhanced by the anthropomorphic essence of their forms. We gain the impression that the artist has imbued her understanding of the senses, of taste, touch, and smell, into her work; the result is ethereal and dream-like yet somehow tangible and visceral.

Carolyn Case’ new body of works demonstrates her dynamic and playful approach to painting. Using vibrant, ribbon-like strands of contrasting colour palettes and patterns, Case creates explosive compositions that are brimming with life and energy. Her work is inspired by her daily observations of the minutia within her home, which become a vehicle for deeper contemplation and larger ideas in life. This abstract morphing of the world around her can be understood as a symbol of the intangible meanings of life that Case grapples with on a daily basis. The paintings contain a sporadic energy, reflecting the unpredictable and fluctuating nature of life.

We gain a sense of exploration and a true enjoyment of paint. The interwoven shapes and marks create an impression of spontaneity and movement. Her decision making seems to be unconfined and unrestrained by typical customs of painting; the foreground and background become completely integrated, yet maintain an impression of space and depth. Case’s approach is loose and unrestricted, but balanced out by her intuitive understanding of composition and colour. It’s as if she has taken her formal knowledge of painting, churned it up and reinvigorated it with an exuberant and exciting approach that breaks the mould of tradition.

Case often uses her pastel drawings as a starting point for the compositions of her paintings, making the most of the quick, expressive quality of the pastel medium, she then uses the structure of the drawing as the skeleton of the larger works, allowing for the paint to transform and divert the new work into a life of its own. The abstract compositions are anchored by observational elements; certain shapes are visibly informed by Case’s surroundings, such as the silhouette of a spatula, or the fragment of a garden fence. These more recognizable forms create a sense of familiarity, but one that has been chopped up and reinterpreted through Case’s eyes. Her observations of the objects around her are distorted and minimised into simpler forms, so that they become camouflaged amongst the surrounding abstract shapes. This seamless blending of figuration and abstraction is what gives her work a unique intensity that truly reflects the complexities of life.

Originally from California, Carolyn Case earned her MFA from MICA's Mount Royal School of Art in Baltimore, MD, and her BFA from California State University in Long Beach, CA. She lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. Case’s solo exhibitions include Asya Geisberg Gallery, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA, Lux Art Institute, CA, Western Michigan University, Loyola University, MD, McLean Projects for the Arts, Washington, D.C., and the Art Registry in Washington, D.C. She has participated in two-person and group exhibitions at the Delaware Museum of Art, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, The Parlour Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Chatham, NY, and John Fonda Gallery, Baltimore, MD. Residencies include the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Lux Art Institute, CA, the School 33 Art Center in Baltimore, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Kanoria Centre for the Arts in Ahmedabad, India. Reviews include Art Forum, ArtNews, the Baltimore Sun, New American Paintings, Metro Weekly, and Two Coats of Paint. She has received the Bethesda Painting Award and is a 2018 and 2017 Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Semi-finalist. She is full-time faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work has been gifted to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Rhiannon Inman-Simpson (b. 1989) lives and works in St. Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex, UK. She received her MFA from Bergen Academy of Art and Design (Norway) in 2016 and her BFA from The Glasgow School of Art (Scotland) in 2011. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Pulpo Gallery, Germany (2023), Bobinska Brownlee Gallery, London (2022), Cadet Capela, Paris (2021) and group shows at Taymour Grahne Projects, London (2023), Pulpo Gallery, Germany (2022) and Hordaland Kunstsenter, Norway (2020). In 2021 she was shortlisted for the Jackson’s Painting Prize, winning the abstract award. In 2022 she was an artist in residence at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (USA) and was the recipient of grants from Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond Norway and Arts Council England.