PM/AM is a contemporary art gallery located on the border of Soho and Fitzorovia in the heart of London. It hosts a busy programme of shows across the two exhibition floors of the Eastcastle Street space. The gallery’s lower ground floor studio provides the location for a residency space for international and under-represented artists to develop their practice. Together the spaces form a unique cultural and creative hub in the bustling centre of the city.
PM/AM’s mission is to reflect through art how we engage with ourselves and the world today, expressed through the artists it is fortunate enough to work with. Recent graduates, those emerging into the spotlight and in their mid-careers on the international stage all feature across a dynamic programme. The gallery works on the vanguard of the emerging art sector, responsible for finding artists of tomorrow, and is keen to explore and present work originating from the many interlocking diasporas of the world. PM/AM’s plays a part in the incubation of contemporary art’s future by representing a carefully selected roster of artists, working with them to initiate and grow lasting careers in the global art world.
As a dynamic arts organisation PM/AM’s activities extend beyond exhibitions into consultation, publications and editorial, providing the means to facilitate placements with collectors and institutions, and create extended content to further support and expose the artists we work with. This self-contained structure is key to the gallery’s broad outlook and capabilities, however we value collaborations with external writers, curators and other galleries to realise our goals.
PM/AM is pleased to present our 07 exhibition, which will be available to view online. Inspired by Andre’ Breton’s Surrealist manifesto, this show exhibits a group of multi-faceted artists who conceive artwork inspired by the absurdity and magical realism of life. In this particularly significant moment of change, the show explores practices from different artists across the globe who are unified by their shared form of expression and their otherworldly perceptions.
All movements in art are to some degree a response to changes in society. The post-war period saw widespread suffering after the second most traumatic disruption in living memory. With most of the world still coming to terms with the effects of two world wars, radical new forms took hold in music, art and film.
Emerging during such turbulent times, these new expressions can be seen as a retreat from the perceived senselessness of reality, towards a world of fantasy – equally irrational, but at least amenable to the control of the artist. They are a reflection of chaos, obliging people to contemplate the spectacle of a world undone – a world without reason, without rules, without systems and structures; a place where dreams and nightmares replace familiar, solid objects.
It was in this uncertain and chaotic period that André Breton wrote in his Surrealist Manifesto: “This summer the roses are blue; the wood is of glass. The earth, draped in its verdant cloak, makes as little impression upon me as a ghost. It is living and ceasing to live which are imaginary solutions. Existence is elsewhere.”
“Roses are Blue” looks at the work of artists telling stories of this shadowy place, where art, fears and dreams are swept up together in an evocative magic realism. Their transformed perceptions of contemporary life express the veiled parts of our psychology, made accessible in these strangest of times.
The group show consists of the following international artists: Alessandro Fogo, James Owens, Paola Angelini, Ellie Pratt, Luca de Angelis, Danilo Stojanović. Amongst these accomplished artists, their accolades consist of Fogo’s first position in the Artelaguna Prize Venice 2018 and in 2019, Owens was shortlisted for the Evening Standard Emerging Artist Award in 2019, Angelini was exhibited in the Norwegian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, in an exhibition entitled Baton Sinister.
From De Angelis’ contemplative, moody portraits to Paola Angelini’s madly allegorical scenes, the group of artists show a cohesive introspection of the subconscious realisation of the world around them. Our events unfold onto the canvas through their individual perceptions, and the exhibition allows us to explore our own conclusions.Luca De Angelis’ artistic research concentrates on the link between mankind and nature. By focussing on the dialogue between these two elements, he explores their fragile connections and reveals their intrinsic differences.
The juxtaposition of connections between nature and mankind, paralleled by their differences leads De Angelis to compose artworks juggling the paradox of fiction and reality. The surreal image revealed on the canvas belongs to a story hidden from plain sight. Using objects and figures with classical imagery, but removed from the typical symbolism and narrative. Similar to the literary genre of ‘Magical Realism’, De Angelis takes ‘normal’ and transports us to the abnormal without a traditional narrative structure. A figure or object stares at us with moody indignance, we know there is a story behind this glare – but what exactly? We are left to imagine what surreal world his snakes and overly muscular figures belong to, where did they come from and what are they thinking?
Born in San Benedetto del Tronto in 1980, Luca De Angelis obtained his diploma in fine art at the Academy of fine arts in Urbino.Luca De Angelis currently lives and works in Milan. Recent shows include solo at Annarumma Gallery in Napoli and group show with aplus gallery as part of Art Verona in 2020.
Reminiscent of Picasso’s blue period, the artists utilise cool and sombre tones in their artworks. When Alessandro Fogo was interviewed about his work he remarked, “Blue comes from a particular moment of the day that I like for its ambiguity. In general, I am interested in working with the semantics of I am fascinated by how much an object can really tell us about its history and function. Objects, even if removed from their original contexts, often maintain some sort of definite aura, but they become ambiguous, religious and sacred objects especially.”
There is a cyclical nature in Fogo’s thinking, first, a prayer to the everyday object by elevating it to such heights that it loses its original meaning. By doing this, Fogo questions everything around us by pointing out the absurdity in its mundanity. The result is beauty revealed in the object in its purest form.
Alessandro Fogo was born in Thiene, Italy and lives and works in Le Marche, Italy. Fogo was the 2019 winner of the Premio Combat painting prize in Italy and recently exhibited at Galleria Continua, Annarumma Gallery, Mamoth and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni.
Paola Angelini’s process of painting is spatial and temporal, where different spaces and time frames coexist within her paintings. Her handling of the medium allows for a more gestural and explorative approach, with the artist often spending a few months on a single work gathering a rich collection of personal imagery and historical references which becomes the core of each composition. Much like Fogo’s ritualization of everyday objects, Angelini collects and idealizes historical events and images.
Paola Angelini (1983) was born in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy and was exhibited in the Norwegian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. Solo and group exhibitions include Annarumma Gallery and Galleri Brandstrup.
James Owens’ practice is one that combines internal processes of memory, contemplation and imagination with a vast array of external visual ephemera. Submerged within a folklorish world of sentient flowers and trees, the figures becoming fused within the whimsical and dreamlike landscapes.
His work is a cornucopia of the past, present and fantastical. This combination creates a new world which foggs the distinction between reality, memory and imagination. These murky realities are often drawn from real visual references but form an entire new world which seems to dance on the canvas.
Owens’ use of swirled lines and irregular form create movement and bring his paintings to life in a distinctly dreamlike manner. Reminiscent of Munch’s swirled nightmarish landscapes, Owens’ paintings instead have a cooler and calmer characteristics. While distinctly figurative, the works swirl hypnotically and almost bring you to a trance like state.
A UAL graduate, Owens was born in Middlesbrough and works in London. In 2018 Owens was shortlisted for the Evening Standard’s art prize at the National Gallery in London and has featured in prominent shows since graduating.
Ellie Pratt creates emotive paintings derived from the strange intimacy of the published human image, basing much of her work on material found in editorial print and online media. She transplants the subjects into calm, yet dynamic environments. By focussing on female figures, Pratt draws attention to the power of female representation.
Social media images have become a public diary of our staged, intimate stories. Throughout art history, the narratives have often felt dictated by men. In this space, Pratt makes her mark. This discourse is now being challenged, and Pratt continues this conversation with exploring the multi-faceted aspects of women. Dominance, power versus passiveness and calm.
Ellie Pratt takes social media selfies and adopts a narrative of power and ownership of those images. The carefully composed women in Pratt’s paintings look straight at us with no reservation. Much like Manet’s Olympia that scandalised the world partly due to the ‘indignance’ of her gaze, Pratt’s women look straight at us with the confidence of women emerging into a new dimension of femininity.
The pure and vibrant colours that glow in a surrealist atmosphere charged with evocative feelings and sensations contain dream-like atmospheres surrounding the central figure. Continuing her study of trees and dappled light, Pratt describes her newer work as more brushy and direct, moving away from the refinement of her previous paintings. She described the atmosphere in these works as fleeting and transient, bringing weight to vacuousness. The work uses a surrealist colour palette and is inspired by the French Impressionists.
A Slade and Royal College of Art graduate, Ellie Pratt now finds herself an artist emerging into the spotlight and creating a dialogue with several notable galleries.
Danillo Stojanović creates figurative paintings that are associated with surrealist motifs partly due to their melancholic and nightmarish aesthetic. For Stojanović, paint becomes a kind of embalming fluid as he memorialises the objects and places of his personal history.
Although the Balkan artist explores different formats and themes, his canvases always have some aura of melancholy and romanticism. The human figure is barely visible, whereas his landscapes, cool toned colours and meticulous brushstrokes are the prominent aspects of his artwork.
Stojanović is a Croatian painter, based in Venice. Trained in Venice, the murky haze is apparent in his paintings. Stojanović has also said he draws inspiration from early Gothic literature, science fiction and scientific illustrations.
Danilo Stojanović was born in Pula, Croatia, in 1989. In 2009, after graduating from the School of Applied Arts and Design in Pula, he enrolled in the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice. He earned his BA in Painting in 2013. The same year he participated in the establishment of the Fondazione Malutta Art Collective in which he has been active ever since. In 2017 he received his MA (Cum Laude, 110/110) in Painting from the same Venetian Academy and earned the title of an academic painter.