FEATURING INGRID BOOT & RAE WEST
Transport yourself to the optimistic and liberated 60’s and 70’s with this exhibition of new paintings by Ingrid Boot & Rae West. Retro reflects back on a time of social movements and developments in the genres of fashion, art and architecture, with each artist translating elements of the era into compelling works of contemporary art.
Ingrid Boot has created a suite of striking portraits that find their inspiration in the iconic, inventive and pioneering fashion of Mary Quant. Boot presents us with confident subjects that joyfully capture the sensibility of the mod aesthetic. Reminiscent of media stills or magazine covers, these paintings embody the Quant ideal whereby "a fashionable woman wears clothes; the clothes don't wear her". The trademark Quant daisy emblem features in a number of the works making reference to a designer who set out to give women a strong and independent style in a post-war era. Each work is finished with a distinctive polaroid like edge converting the painting into a 'snapshot' of a bygone time.
Rae West's new paintings offer a mid-century modern aesthetic with their curvaceous and biomorphic forms, and bold yet minimal designs. While working in free-poured resin may be a contemporary take on painting; the glass like finish of the material references the mid century architectural approach of breaking up spaces with glass and reflective surfaces. West's palettes are immediately transporting as she layers retro ochres, oranges, brown and golds to create rich and sensuous surfaces.
It is said that what was once old becomes new again. The works of this exhibition feel simultaneously retrospective and current, just like the mod and mid century aesthetics themselves- which continue to feel alive today. As Cara Greenberg describes (the author who pioneered the term mid-century modern), the designs of this era were conceived for the functional post-war home and lifestyle, for those city residents who moved in the modern world. These ideas still play into the way we live today and so these works tap into a shared experience.