11th November to 8th December 2023
Jhonatan Pulido, Luca Longhi, Susan Rocklin, Louis Appleby, Henny Acloque, Max Gimson, Luke Tomlinson, Brian Mountford
Fast Friends is an exhibition of paintings curated by Brian Mountford featuring work by him and seven of his friends. Friends made quickly through connections and conversations when Brian was studying painting. Rekindling the energy of this period, the paintings in this show act as a bridge for talking painting and provide a physical memory of prior discourse. They are the ancestorial produce of early friendships, living together in a new space where notions of fastness are examined again.
How fast a painting reveals itself depends on the interaction between painter and painting. I may finally get something to happen and realise what’s going on, or a painting may be won in five minutes through the eruption of pent-up potential. Sometimes I’m not able to accept new approaches to making and a painting is reversed, turned back when my mind has caught up with its material-concept and I see something in it I didn’t see before. This painting is not a fast friend but a late one, a psycho-experiential delay. And yet, the rush of understanding occurs rapidly, every time I encounter the painting thereafter. I forget the longevity of my friend’s gestation and replace slowness with recurring speed.
Contemporary painter Josh Smith refers to his paintings as friends he’s tired of or happy to see. “Being an artist involves a lot of time being alone. It’s hard to work when there’s other people around” (Smith talking at David Zwirner Paris, 2023). It’s a contradiction pertinent to painting whereby I’m surrounded by friends but alone; I can’t work around others but I’m in the presence of friends. Like paintings, some friends stay in your life, others come in and out, fast and frequently. Friendships can be different every time you enter the studio and the tension between ‘having you all there’ and ‘trying to understand you’ makes for the best kind of (non)sense, a most fruitful and continuous pursuit. As Josh says, “I try to make the best thing that I can that I don’t understand” (ibid.). When we do this, we must remember we’re amongst friends.
Written by Brian Mountford and Jenny Eden
Exhibition curated by Brian Mountford
Fast Friends opens with a PV on Friday 10th November, 6-9pm, and continues to Saturday 8th December. The exhibition is open by appointment – please email firstname.lastname@example.org or DM on Instagram @oceansapartgallery