Stepping into Chloe Wise’s exhibition, Thank You For The Nice Fire, at Almine Rech, you aren’t allowed to forget the state of the world over the past year. Isolation can be felt from the first painting of a woman yearning, glimpsing at a golden world outside, just beyond the cell-like blinds that slice rays of light across her face. You must be careful not to miss the petite canvas cradling a single slab of butter, swathed in a breathtaking, dusk landscape.
The theme of food, and the character of butter continues on as you enter the main gallery space. You can hear echoes from a conversation going on behind thick glass that twists and distorts all light it illuminates. Pieces of people are all over the walls. Half of a man’s head. The hands of women, grasping each other. Cropped smiling faces. Sharp, green lettuce clenched between bared teeth. Fingers dancing over garlic, releasing the stifled capers and whirls that our bodies have been unable to enjoy for so long.
Longing and mourning can be felt for each other, so can indulgence in food and comfort. The only things represented in whole are sculptures of corn, eggs, butter. Lettuce provides the room with light and whimsy. Butter poses on a pedestal in front of a rococo curation, taking the place of a king and as the subject of portraiture. Adorned by royal, purple cabbage and weeping flower buds. There is a sublimity in the somber glances and dreamy scenes that unnerves you. Reflecting on the disparity that our only impressions of existing with touch now parallel those of infection.
Scrunchies can be found here.
Take your own virtual visit of the show below. xx