10th - 13th Oct 2024Saatchi Gallery, London

Art and the Poetic

Jeon Sun Hwa, End of season, Oil on canvas, 100✕50cm

The mid-nineteenth century witnessed the birth of a new poetic season in Europe. Discontent with Realist traditions, rising young artists sought to break free from the pursuit of perfect symmetry and clarity of form, instead emphasizing the expression of subjective emotion. Yet, how does the spirit of Impressionism continue to inspire the artists of today, almost two centuries later ?

Impressionist artists brought to the center of focus in their artworks a subjective reality. Replacing grandiose portraits were landscapes often painted en plein-air, poetically capturing the form of clouds, sun-light, and nature. In a period of radical industrialization, these idyllic landscapes provided a means of escape for both the viewer and the artist from the metropolitan, claustrophobic setting of Paris. FOCUS Art Fair brings together four artists from diverse backgrounds, to explore the ways in which artists of today make use of unique methods and media to capture the spontaneous, the ephemeral, and the poetic.

Hiro, The ultramarine moment, 2020, Oil on canvas, 41✕31.8cm

Hiro, Wish, 2020, Oil on canvas, 41✕31.8cm

Directly influenced by the oil paintings of Claude Monet, the artworks of Miho Endo feature lily ponds, the seaside, and flower fields bathing in the summer sun. Similar to Monet’s water lilies, Endo applies brush strokes in a particular manner that gives her paintings a blurry, almost dream-like quality. It is this poetic effect that stimulates within the viewer a sense of peace and meditation. Similarly, Korean artist Sunhwa Jeon applies oil on canvas to create peaceful landscapes of the ocean. In her artwork, titled “End of Season”, the soft brushstrokes are accentuated with the addition of multi-colored fabric on canvas, giving the work a new dimension.

Miho Endo, Peaceful place (autumn), 2020, Acrylic, 45.5✕38cm

Although from different cultural backgrounds, both Irish artist Jaime McGlinn and Japanese artist Hiro create poetry with their artwork by exploring the ways in which art can convey a sense of infinity. McGlinn’s paintings reproduce visually the rhythm of music — from the traditional Irish music of his childhood to those more upbeat and progressive. The artist makes use of vivid colors and spontaneous brush movement to capture the energy of different art forms. Likewise, Hiro creates oniric paintings of the night sky and the galaxy, where the study of light instills a sense of calmness and healing in the viewer. Indeed, by visually transporting viewers to the cosmic sphere, her paintings reflect the powerful universe within ourselves.

Jaime McGlinn, Antrim, 2021, Oil on canvas, 50✕50cm