Lazarides is a two floor gallery in a converted townhouse in Fitzrovia. Most of the walls are painted regulation white whilst a few are left as exposed brick. Currently the gallery is showing work by Australian artist Anthony Lister, in an exhibition entitled ‘Hurt People – Hurt People.’
Lister’s images focus on the figurative but do not aim for a realistic portrayal of the human body. Even a series of portrait sized images of faces are blurred and scrawled over, the faces built with broad strokes and left indistinct amongst dried, dripping paint and surfaces flecked with spots of colour.
Not Impressed 1984, Anthony Lister, Mixed media on canvas 90 x 90 cm
Chaotic colours and spontaneous marks make up the images, often given exotic titles such as Razor Blade Love Song and Boob Envy at Elenteen. Several large canvases showcase the female form. The obliterated faces and voluptuous curves may possibly be critiquing the media’s often dehumanising images, but may just as easily be delighting in them.
A still life of pots and bottle against a wall stands out. Called New Boys/Old Tricks the elements are thrown onto the canvas in violent daubs of colour. The typical bourgeois subject matter, attempted by hundreds of artists throughout history has been ignored by too-cool contemporary artists for years. Here it provides an unexpected link to the past. Otherwise the images are scratched, scribbled and dripped, jigsawed together from many elements and colours.
The gallery suggests that Lister’s images demonstrate the ‘technical execution of old masters’ and that the show promises to ‘transcend categorisation’. I would suggest that they don’t and it doesn’t.