The 23rd of May marked the opening of the group exhibition warmly still. As part of this exhibition on the themes of memory and presence in absence, Shoreditch Modern is proud to showcase the works of four remarkable contemporary painters: Justin Cole, Andrea Cucinotta, Freddie Darke and Vystralis. We had the pleasure of celebrating this launch in the warm company of the artists as well as their friends, family, critics and peers.

The selected artworks combine an initial feeling of comfort with an unsettling sense of absence. Leaving the viewer wondering what is left unsaid and giving them the freedom to complete the picture with their own stories. The exhibition also investigates how spaces can acquire both a timelessness and a surreal quality when subjects are abducted from them.

In Freddie Darke’s works, flea markets take a mysterious appearance through the erasure of details and the suggestion of people in the negative space; while gentle purples and oranges evoke a Mediterranean Summer. New York-based painter Justin Cole explores inner landscapes and summons hazy memories of lost souls with hints of faces appearing from the pastel coloured canvases. 

Meanwhile, the human form is completely absent from Andrea Cucinotta’s work, yet it is felt through details such as a smoking cigarette in an ashtray or a steaming cup of coffee. This creates a sense of expectation, a tension within otherwise still environments. Tension is also present in Vystralis’ works as unexpected animals occupy familiar, homely spaces – a moving comment on our strained relationship with nature and our impact on animal life.

The exhibition was launched with a Q&A led by curator Anaïs Masetti with two of the participating artists, Freddie Darke and Justin Cole. The artists shared fascinating insights into the importance of restraint in their practice and the memories that influence their artistic journeys – be it the first time visiting a museum for Cole or his father’s feedback on early sketches for Darke.

This art exhibition is free and open to the public until 14th June 2024. The gallery’s opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm. All artworks on display are available for sale. For any sales enquiries, please contact: anais@shoreditchmodern.com

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