Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Julia Farrer: Transformations

  • Comment
At the Eagle Gallery, 159 Farringdon Road, London EC1 until 10 November

On one wall of Julia Farrer's new exhibition hangs a painting titled Tower Variation I, and beyond it three others from a series called Babel ; an allusion to architecture is explicit, writes Andrew Mead . But her Tower of Babel is very different from the one in Brueghel's famous picture, that ultimate masonry megastructure spiralling towards the sky.

While the reference is grandiose, Farrer's paintings are intimate, each Babel work comprising two 70cm elongated vertical panels, hung side by side with just a sliver of wall between them. Animating these diptychs is an assembly of geometric shapes, both opaque and transparent, which pivot, rotate and overlap to create complex spatial worlds.

Some earlier pieces by Farrer, setting various geometric elements adrift in cosmic space, had echoes of Malevich and El Lissitzky; these, though never representational, suggest Cubist ancestry. Their intricacy, precision and cut-out collage-like quality bring Juan Gris to mind.

The acrylic paint has been sprayed on to these thin boards; there is no trace of the artist's hand. Barely described, such paintings could seem mechanical, accomplished but impersonal; surprisingly , that is not the case. In each Babel work one panel is more muted than the other, as if a shadow were swallowing the blues, violets, greys or eau-de-nil. Perhaps it is this undertow of darkness that gives these paintings their resonance - and distances them still more from any material tower.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.