CAROLE GIBBONS, NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE, ABIGAIL REYNOLDS, NICOLA BEALING,
ALAN DAVIE, DM THOMAS, SCOTTIE WILSON, FOSTER & BEREAN, DAVID INSHAW,
SIMON BAYLISS, LUCY STEIN, JUDITH BERNSTEIN, ROBERT LENKIEWICZ, MICHELLE
USSHER, FRANCE-LISE MCGURN, HUMBERTO POBLETE-BUSTAMANTE, SUSAN HILLER,
MANUELA GERNEDEL, NATALYA GONCHAROVA
I dreamt of falling trees in a wild storm I was
between them as a desolate shore came to meet me and I ran, scared
stiff, there was a trap door but I could not lift it, I have started an
affair with your son, on a train somewhere in a dark tunnel, his hand
was underneath my dress between my thighs I could not breathe he took me
to a white lakeside hotel somewhere high up.
On a hungover morning in Plymouth, painters (and friends) Lucy Stein and
Simon Bayliss stumbled across a paperback copy of 'The White Hotel',
resting on a street wall. It was the day after the opening of 'SS Blue
Jacket', their inaugural exhibition as curatorial partners, and this
literary encounter signified a serendipitous moment. With the book
retrieved, and when invited to curate the Gimpel Fils summer show, it
was clear from where the project should arise.
The novel, by DM Thomas, begins with a long poem written for the purpose
of psychoanalysis, by a female patient of a fictionalised Sigmund Freud.
In this text she imagines a wildly erotic affair with the professor's
son, at a white hotel by a lake. Yet while the newly met couple indulge
in incessant carnal pleasures, a series of catastrophes, including a
fire and a flood, kill almost every other guest at the resort. The
narrative is surreal, inscribed as a streaming hallucination, yet it
imparts visceral suggestions of raw nature, freak weather, celestial
events, and a magnificent surrounding countryside.
The exhibition draws on Gimpel Fils' legacy of exhibiting both modernist
and contemporary artists. It includes pieces from the gallery
collection, as well as work by invited artists. Through the prism of
painting a poetic response to the themes of the book unfolds.