Mr & Mrs Philip Cath at Almanac

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Artists: Mr & Mrs Philip Cath

Exhibition title: Mr and Mrs Philip Cath and Lovers

Venue: Almanac, London, UK

Date:  September 3 – 24, 2016

Photography: Oskar Proctor, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Almanac, London/Turin

It is an inverted possibility, making the medium of painting into a relational ethics for the contemporary moment. The individual works are involved in this propagation through an alchemical politics.

If there was another mirror in Alice’s drawing room – would that tripled space have come close to the complexity and contradictions of contemporary life? The imagery of the not-so-distant past repeats a practice of attention disguised as interiority, and the object of bad taste is a warning that all is not as it should be. When we look closely at the painting’s surface, we may discover a portal through the personal into a new outward-facing language.

Perhaps the distorting mirror/screen acts as a spirit animal for the modern – the digital cricket on our shoulder whose background noise we can learn to decipher as a shift in scale. The painting gazes out at us with the eyes of an insect, revealing a multidimensional alternate space.

By breaking out of the sphere, embracing the fragility of our own perception, a chimera is formed that gestures across the schism of languages that could have been, an oasis of impossibilities that is fruitful in the acknowledgement of the darkness of the unconscious.

The weight of history is held back by a spider’s web filigree of surfaces, and the constant care of the witch-gardener releases the chemicals of negative consumption, allowing for the articulation of the depth of emotions into a plane. If humans can create emotional thresholds, so can paintings. And after all, the work itself has crossed many thresholds to reach this stage.

The love we have for the busts of reality that prop us up, help us function, and build on invisible lives, gather and call for a response. The husbands and wives of painters are frozen into casts of their love for the world, worked in to the surfaces and stimulating swirls of material.

Becoming-with-painting, unhelpful judgments fall away like shedded skins. A raw thought places itself on the surface of this relation, a paper napkin absorbing the viciousness that surrounds it, turning shadow.

– Astrid Korporaal

The exhibition included performances, talks and interventions by Daniel Shanken, Benjamin Orlow, Hannah Catherine Jones, Nina Wakeford, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Cath.

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Mr. and Mrs. Philip Cath, Manet, 2016; Energy Saving Bulb, 2016The Visitors Book, 2016, oil on linen, 61 x 91 cm

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Mr. and Mrs. Philip Cath, Maria do Carmo Matosinho Peres de Pontes, 2016
Oil on linen 122 x 92 cm.

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Mr. and Mrs. Philip Cath, London, 2016, oil on linen, 140 x 170 cm.

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Mr. and Mrs. Philip Cath, Lovers, 2015; Fringed Lampshade, 2015; Romanticism, 2016; oil on linen, 61 x 91 cm

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Mr. and Mrs. Philip Cath, Inside the Outside, 2016, oil on linen, 140 x 170 cm.

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Mr. and Mrs. Philip Cath, The Boy in the Museum, 2015
Oil on linen, frame, 81 x 71 x 25 cm.

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Mr. and Mrs. Philip Cath, The Boy in the Museum, 2015
Oil on linen, frame, 81 x 71 x 25 cm.

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