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Arthouse1 is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Sean Fairman
La Fête de l’Obscurité is the artist’s second solo show at Arthouse1. It is a celebration of twenty-five years of Black Paintings, though all the works are new and will mark a discontinuity as much as an affirmation of his earlier work. The exhibition is timed to coincide with the Day of the Dead, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night and All Saints Day - a fête de l’obscurité or "festival of darkness" in which the art is both dark and also obscure in the sense of mysterious and hidden.
Fairman is first-and-foremost a painter and, whilst the new works are often three dimensional and the show as a whole more likely to be an installation than a series of wall hung works, he sees the whole as no more than an extension of his art practice as a painter. His paintings have always had depth, are layered, in relief, with found objects burnt, collaged, or otherwise embedded within the canvas, the layering both an aesthetic device and a means of concealment. Here the objects are more loosely attached, sometimes freed altogether from the confines of the canvass but still part of the painting. A combination of layered paintings and fabricated structures promises a transformation of the gallery space into an immersive happening in which visitors are invited to experience the art rather than merely look at it.
The finished show remains obscure, a mystery, a work in progress, but masks will play a central role; the mask, a transformative instrument (like art itself) evoking thoughts of initiation rites, of subterfuge and disguise, fantasy and darkly playful entertainment, with animal masks, in a menagerie of anthropomorphism, taking on a human form and conveying human emotions such as sadness, shame, anger and fear.
Leave your preconceptions at the door and prepare to be amazed.
Download Catalogue here