Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by British artist Hurvin Anderson. Exhibiting at the gallery for the first time, Anderson is showing pieces from two distinct bodies of work, the Barbershop series and the Mirror series. Works on view from the Barbershop series are part of that group’s final gesture while the Mirror series is just beginning. The conversation between the two bodies of work speaks to a larger commentary in the artists’ oeuvre relating to defining ones own personal space and time and the search for a concise visual language.
The Barbershop series is comprised of a group of canvases and paintings on paper illustrating the same physical space; a make-shift hair salon in a private home. The series serves as a loose historical record of West Indian émigrés to Britain during the 1950’s and 1960’s. During this time barbershops were opened in peoples homes and served as social gathering spaces, touchstones of the familiar, as well as economic enterprises. The particular shop depicted in Anderson’s Barbershop series is one of, if not the absolute, last known spaces of its kind in London.
The viewer sees the shop from an outsiders’ perspective, lending a voyeuristic component to the work. This outsiders’ vantage point addresses larger questions of social, political and economic barriers.
While the Barbershop series is based on a present-day, existing space, the Mirror series depicts scenes recalled from memory. The Mirror paintings investigate the difference between what is seen in the minds eye and what actually exists.
The largest of the three Mirror works illustrates a space from Anderson’s childhood home in Birmingham, England. The lack of reflection in the mirror leaves both a conceptual and a figurative void for the viewer.
Anderson recreates spaces that are known to him. The juxtaposition of the social interiors of the Barbershop works to the personal; the lived in spaces of the Mirror works serves to illustrate the multiple layers of perspective that the artist strives to define. Yet Anderson exercises restraint in his definition, as well, intentionally allowing the viewer to fill in some blanks and enjoy the images on their own.