Wendy Elia: Where Are We Now

13 – 17 July 2021


Where Are We Now, Oil on canvas, 160 x 130cm

Like Bowie’s 2013 song of the same name, Where Are We Now is a meditation on time and history. Featuring bold new works that re-imagine Artemisia Gentileschi’s ‘Judith and Holofernes’ as well as representative paintings from several of Elia’s key series, the exhibition creates slippages between past, present, and future.

Elia mines the rich traditions of western history painting, deftly weaving in references to iconic images such as Bacon’s indeterminate forms and Piranesi’s torturous architecture of surveillance. These sit alongside stills from films or TV or footage from news reports in unsettling juxtapositions. Time takes on an elastic quality as symbols and models migrate between paintings. We sense it in individual works: Poussin’s seventeenth century ‘Dance To The Music of Time’ about the turns of Fate is re-interpreted as ‘Dance To The Music of Time II’ that itself alludes to an absent, earlier Elia work from the mid-’90s. In several paintings, space assumes a surreal quality. Classic fairytales like Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin boast contemporary protagonists. Women’s roles are renegotiated. And always we are left questioning – not just where are we now, but who and where do we want to be.

Text: Marie-Anne Mancio

Limited Edition
Where Are We

Two-run lithograph on Somerset Satin 300gsm
Edition of 25, 60 x 49cm

Printed by Lemonade Litho in Bristol, hand-pulled on a 1940s Ratcliffe press

Special exhibition price: £250 unframed

Contact the Gallery to order
0203 441 5152