PAUL KELLEY & JUSTINE RANDALL
CELEBRATING TEXTURE, MATERIALS AND COLOUR
Sunday 29 April to Sunday 17 June 2018
See Ajerman's online gallery here
Michael Ajerman is an American artist, living and working in London.
With his paintings, nothing is ever quite certain.
They compel us to come in and find out.
- Over 25 oil paintings on linen and aluminium
- Signed drawings
- Limited Edition signed screenprints
- Hand-signed catalogue of the exhibition £20
EXHIBITION PRESS RELEASE
HemingwayArt is delighted to present Far from Tahiti, a solo exhibition of over thirty new oil paintings by American artist Michael Ajerman.
This new body of work spans the past four years, and through his strikingly vibrant paintings Ajerman investigates a breadth of subjects and sensations as if in some unresolved psychodrama. Sun-soaked colour and intense brush strokes cavort with dark pools to create familiar but unknown scenarios. Sometimes with humour, sometimes with voyeurism, the resulting scenes disarm the viewer and challenge us to come closer (but carefully) to find out more - regardless of how explicit the image truly is.
The exhibition title references an image by the 1920s American pin-up artist Enoch Bolles showing a young woman piggy-back, sea-frolicking on the shoulders of an over-bronzed male. "It was kind of a weird beach scene, in most pin-up art you only see the female, but this was interesting to me as it seemed to imply something about the battle of or disharmony of the sexes", explains Ajerman.
The human body, gender, and personal conflicts found in the private and the public domains continue to take precedence in Ajerman's paintings. In his unique arena, notions and signals are dispersed to create unanswered situations and dilemmas. In other paintings, the artist explores the use of still life and inanimate objects, portraying key chain trinkets, stuffed animals, and toys (some for children some for canines) to handle serious matters with a sense of wit and touch that fluctuates from piece to piece.
Whether it's rendering a contorted leg or capturing the delicacy of a toy bunny's ear, Ajerman explains "When I am doing them I am moving the body around and I don't really have a fixed pose … the way the body is rendered is completely unfixed and I have not pre-planned them at all so it's all an interaction with the paint, it's what I know from having done life drawing and having lived and seen people from life, and so on and so forth, but it has to do with the energy I put into them which hopefully keeps them more visceral."
To accompany the exhibition there is a 68-page colour catalogue with foreword by Alex Michon.
An artist's talk with Michael Ajerman and Alex Michon will be held on Saturday 3 June at 3pm at the HemingwayArt gallery.
About the Artist
Michael Ajerman was born in New York. He studied at the Corcoran School of Art and the New York Studio School, along with taking part in the Yale Summer School at Norfolk. In 2003 he completed a Masters in Fine Art at the Slade School of Art, London. The same year he won the Royal Institute Award through the Royal Academy.
Since then he has had solo exhibitions in the UK, Italy, USA and Israel including Squash (2013) and Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab (2010) at Transition Gallery, London; Inatteso/Unexpected (2012) at Marco Rossi Arte Contemporanea, Milan; Heads or Tails (2011) at HemingwayArt, Oxford; and Glossolalia (2010) at Toomey-Tourell Gallery, San Francisco.
His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the 2016 Contemporary Drawing from Britain at the Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, China; the 2015 East End Painting Prize at the Rum Factory, London; Kunskog at 500 Dollars, London; East Wing Collection 8 at the Courtauld Galleries, London; The Painting Room at Transition Gallery; and Bomberg's Relevance at the Ben Uri Gallery, London. He currently lives and works in London.