Artist: Felix Treadwell
Exhibition title: Community
Venue: ltd los angeles, Los Angeles, US
Date: February 28 – March 30, 2019
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and ltd los angeles
For his first US presentation, Felix Treadwell presents sixteen paintings and a series of drawings made while in residence in Los Angeles. With this new body of work, the artist generates a cast of characters and imagines a network of feeling. Placed in both emotional and physical dialog, this community draws upon the visual cues of comic strips in style and organization. This mode of representation seeks after visual accessibility and the arrangement of figures and scenes makes use of a classic multi-panel layout, each placed against another, divided by a thin line of negative space.
General in presentation, yet specific in their location, circumscribed by clear boundaries, the community shares a number of features: big eyes, big heads, small mouths. They possess an innocence, a naïveté, a softness. The psychic presence or intense gaze of portraiture is replaced by a greater universality, a depersonalization that allows for greater mapping with the group.
Reaching beyond the merely human, this community embraces a broader expanse of earthly beings. One hundred- plus drawings, affixed to pillars like kiosks filled with flyers, attest to their activity. Plants, animals, even raindrops have agency, presence, feelings. An empathic relationship between object and viewer is the goal, a more horizontal relationship, more network than hegemony.
There are all these things living near each other, making connections through glances. How much information can be derived from proximity, from one person being next to another? When is it that too much information has been drawn from it? A boy looks at a chubby lobster held in his hands. A Lacanian moment, a mirror stage shared across species. The lobster understands itself in the boy, the boy in the lobster.
Elsewhere: chickens growing in trees, sentient raindrops, tiny smiles, noses the same shape as tears. A cat that’s seen too much. This element of the fantastic in the artist’s imagination is not directed toward other worlds, but other minds. Fantasies of the everyday: I found myself standing next to her, she was looking at him, they seemed upset, she was quiet throughout. When I see you crying I wonder why.
Felix Treadwell (b. 1992) lives and works in London. He received his MFA from the Royal College of Art in 2018 and has exhibited internationally.