26, rue Duperré



Installation View

The work of Purdey Fitzherbert and Lucy Whitehead at first glance exist in very different realms.

Whitehead’s works are created in a more “traditional” sense; with oils in front of the canvas, they are born amidst hundreds of sketches. With the virtue of line, she explores the confines of the body and its relation to space and the viewer. In their translation into painting, she turns matter into flesh and flesh into matter. By cropping the figure and tuning into nuances of shape, tone and light, the body becomes landscape; yet figuration seems to disappear.

Fitzherbert’s work, on the other hand, as she puts it, “somehow creates itself”. Large sheets of paper with pigments that pool, divide and converge, create a topography that echoes the micro and macroscopic views of creation. The laws of physics are given full rein to be, and in their freedom, they raise a fascinating question about abstraction and figuration. If figuration represents reality as we see it, isn’t the fact that the laws of chemistry and physics create on their own the ultimate figuration? Like the universe creating itself.

From different roads, these two artists meet in the boundary between the abstract and the figurative. They exist in the liminal space that confronts ideas of creation. Their work creates cycles where body and matter are turned into landscape, landscape itself becomes matter, and matter seems to penetrate the viewer.