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A N N - M A R I E JA M E S sea change


A N N - M A R I E JA M E S sea change 19th June – 2nd August 2019

In collaboration with Karsten Schubert Lyndsey Ingram 20 Bourdon Street, London W1K 3PL T. +44

(0)20 7629 8849

E. info@lyndseyingram.com W. lyndseyingram.com


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“Full fathom five thy father lies, Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes; Nothing of him that doth fade But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange.” – William Shakespeare, The Tempest


FOREWORD Lyndsey Ingram

It is a great pleasure to be working with

Ann-Marie clearly establishes herself as an

Ann-Marie James for the first time and to

artist who is both brave and innovative.

be presenting her solo show Sea Change. This exhibition consists of two new bodies

Because our gallery has a strong connection

of work – one of which is a response to

to fine art prints, this body of Ann-Marie’s

etchings by Albrecht Dürer and the other

work is particularly appropriate. It is exciting

to Kanagawa Hokusai’s iconic woodcut

to be working with an artist who is engaging

The Great Wave.

with the tradition and practice of printmaking – in her source material and in her

In her painting and drawing, Ann-Marie re-

working practice, but who is also pushing

imagines and reinvents historical imagery,

these boundaries beyond the confines of

using it as the building blocks for her

the print world and into the service of con-

own distinctive and dynamic work. This

temporary art.

approach combines two defining themes

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– her interest in found imagery and her

This show would not have been possible

preoccupation with the notion of metamor-

without the help and support of many friends

phoses. By using familiar images to make

and colleagues. We would like to thank

something wholly new, she simultaneously

Karsten Schubert, Tom Rowland, Kostas

engages with the art historical narratives

Synodis, and Caroline Manganaro for work-

of the past and adds to the conversations

ing with us on this project; Dawn Ades, for

of the future. Standing in front of her work,

her insightful catalogue essay; The Whitworth

one is drawn in by fleeting glimpses of

Museum for generously loaning a work from

something subtly familiar, lurking under

their collection; and Madeleine Bertorelli,

layers of abstract mark making. As she

Morgan Long, and Charlie Fellowes for their

boldly looks to the past and the future,

support and encouragement.


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T R AN S FOR MAT I ONS Dawn Ades

Ann-Marie James’ latest works, the Dürer

physically direct and more visually remote

sequence, and Full Fathom Five and Sea

than the ways in which references to, or

Change, have their origins in prints from

borrowings from the past are most often

two very different traditions: Dürer’s early

manifested in contemporary art.

engravings Madonna With The Monkey (c. 1498) and The Sea Monster (c. 1498),

My starting point was intense curiosity

and Kanagawa Hokusai’s The Great Wave

about what these works are exactly,

(1829-33). At first sight the works that

how physically they were made and

evolved from her fascination with these

with what materials. This in no way, to

prints appear utterly different from their

my mind, interferes with the pleasure

sources: explosive swathes of colour in

of looking at them. The transformation

the paintings Full Fathom Five and Sea

of the original prints into the utterly

Change and drawn forms massed and

different finished works is embedded in

interlocked in the Dürer, as if sucked into

the complex processes of their making.

a whirlwind. They are wild, multi-layered,

The stunning Full Fathom Five and Sea

fabulous eruptions. The visible spon-

Change sequences, for example, are

taneity and gestural freedom are no

voyages into the extraordinary pigment

illusion. By contrast the prints, although

Prussian blue which Hokusai also used.

so unlike each other, share effects based

His enthusiasm for this pigment, new to

on pure line: in Dürer, the precise marks

him, is evident by its dominance in his

of the burin and in the Hokusai wood-

series of woodcuts, 36 Views of Mount

cut carving, the curvilinear profile of

Fuji, which included The Great Wave. The

the great wave. James’s paintings and

medium and the process, for James, are

drawings have an unusual relationship

not just steps towards a goal but them-

with their sources, which is both more

selves act as metaphors for the subject,

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which could be thought of as a process of

Both the After Dürer drawings and the

linking and translating through time.

Full Fathom Five and Sea Change paintings have their starting points materially

To step back, for a moment, to the titles. Full

in reproductive techniques devised ini-

Fathom Five and Sea Change have multiple

tially very directly from their sources (and

associations: with the watery origins in the

their popular accomplices). With Dürer,

Hokusai print, with the immersive depths of

it was a particular configuration of cloud

the paintings themselves and with Jackson

and sky that attracted James. In Madonna

Pollock’s 1947 painting Full Fathom Five.

With The Monkey fluffy white clouds are

They come from Ariel’s song to Ferdinand

set against a darker sky created with

in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as he falsely

streaked parallel lines. Dürer was using

laments the drowning of Ferdinand’s father:

the relatively new technique of engraving, which was diametrically opposed

Full Fathom Five thy father lies;

to the older craft of the woodcut. James

Of his bones are coral made;

had two rubber stamps made from line

Those are pearls that were his eyes:

drawings based on the Dürer print, which

Nothing of him that doth fade,

were the starting points for her huge

But doth suffer a sea-change

Dürer drawing. Working vertically on the

Into something rich and strange.

paper, first with the stamps and then with various pens, was a physically demanding

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This is one of the greatest poems about

process. Having established the general

metamorphosis, the fantastic translation

shape of the composition with the rubber

of one element into another, animate to

stamps the idea was to connect them to

inanimate, animal to mineral, against the

one another. This involved drawing with

finality of death.

a variety of pens, especially a Japanese


pigment pen which is very fine and very

early engravings like Madonna With The

strong. To make the connections, which

Monkey, was a greater naturalism in the

materialise the process of translation,

sense of being able to indicate through

was precarious and strenuous: precar-

the curvature, width and intervals of the

ious, in the sense that, unlike with the

lines detailed effects of light and shade,

paintings, a mark once made is there

texture, concavities and convexities. It is

– the decision was made and there is no

very interesting that the ribbonlike sweeps

going back; strenuous in that working

in James’s After Dürer works, linking the

across the vertical paper required bodily

whole, are interspersed with crosshatch-

gestures of the whole arm and shoul-

ings and diagonals, which recall the way

der, not just the hand. This and other

Dürer himself superimposed a system of

aspects of the large Dürer drawing link it

diagonals onto crosshatchings to create

perhaps unconsciously to the engraving

a kind of “double cross-hatching.” The

technique of the original. This has been

effects of light and shade, depth and tex-

described as having an “inward geome-

ture in James’s drawing are now abstract,

try”, owing to the movement of the burin,

in the sense of being no longer attached

a sharp-pointed chisel which cuts directly

to a specific object.

into the copper plate. This movement unmodified would be straight parallel

Full Fathom Five and Sea Change sim-

strokes, but the plate is placed on a small

ilarly had a specific starting point, also

sand-filled cushion which is rotated while

mediated through the proliferation of

the burin is pushed forward, so that the

popular iterations of the famous Hokusai

lines it creates “are determined by the

image: postcards for example, and a coin

interaction of two impulses, one straight,

stamped with the wave, the source of the

the other circular”.1 The effect, visible in

circular form particularly noticeable in

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Full Fathom Five V. The image was trans-

have lasting blue – the Ancient Egyp-

ferred to the aluminium on different

tians, who had a synthetic pigment in use

scales, using the photographic processes

from the 4th millenium BC, whose secret

and enlargements of screenprinting. The

was later lost, and the Maya, who had a

motif is often submerged and the primary

pigment made of indigo dyes and a rare

impact is the extraordinary dynamism

clay; it was extensively used in murals,

of the painted surfaces, their layers and

from c. 800 at cities such as Chichen Itza

depths, and the dark, dense blue of the

and Bonampak, whose colours are still

pigment Prussian Blue.

vivid today, and was still in use in the early colonial period after which the technique

A Note on Prussian Blue. Prussian Blue

seems to have been lost. In the early 19th

was the first modern synthetic pigment,

century Prussian Blue reached Japan.

the result it is said of an experiment gone

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wrong: trying to make a red dye using

Almost like a reaction against the

iron sulphate and a blood-tainted potash

demands of drawing, in Full Fathom Five

produced the compound iron ferrocy-

and Sea Change James revels in all the

anide, which turned out to be a strong

things paint can do and drawing can’t.

blue rather than red. Discovered at the

It can, for example, flow and pool when

beginning of the 18th century, it was the

poured onto the metal sheet, creating

first stable and lasting blue pigment

edges; it can be swept, flicked, dripped

available to artists in Europe apart from

and smudged with hands, brushes, pal-

the excruciatingly expensive ultramarine,

ette knife, thumbs, elbows. The complex-

made from lapiz lazuli mined in Afghani-

ity of the painted surfaces demands time

stan. The only other sources of blue were

to observe, to take in the layers created

liable to fade. Two early civilisations did

by the mediums: a transparent resin,


white and Prussian blue. Contrasting

part of it. There is no denying that these

with the free, turbulent movements of

terms, abstraction and figuration, are

the paint are thin white lines threading

still handy and respond to something in

across the surface, sometimes marking

the ways we look at paintings. There is a

contours, and a multitude of details. Seen

long history behind James’s integration of

close to, for example, are tiny sponge-like

accident, of free, spontaneous marks with

microscopic forms, some deliberately

the recognisable image. The surrealists,

outlined in indigo, some congealing

in their challenge to what was conven-

and separating on a pool of blue, surely

tionally understood as the “real”, rejected

created by chance. Behind them is the

naturalism and championed automatism.

white net of the silkscreen, and suddenly

This led visually to a spontaneity which

the swooping form of the wave. The

verges on the abstract, and was hugely

effect is to make us, the viewer, feel like

influential on the Abstract Expressionists,

the almost invisible figures in the boats

such as Jackson Pollock. The surrealists

tossed in the seas of Hokusai’s print,

were neither at home with the realists nor

exposed to the blue depths.

with the abstract school led by Clement Greenberg which required that a picture

In James’s earlier sequences, Proserpina

draw its objective value from itself alone.

and Le Monde Moderne, the entire com-

For the surrealists the opposition was

position shuttles between abstraction

never so cut and dried; their practice of

and figuration, as Michael Bracewell put

decalcomania, for example, dissolved

it 2. In the new works, she continues

the opposition between abstract and

to shake up this opposition in richly

figurative.3 This involved spreading black

suggestive ways. Recognising Hokusai’s

gouache or ink on a sheet of white sat-

wave among the abstract shapes is only

ined paper, then pressing a similar sheet

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onto this and slowly lifting it up, creating

trol which seems to underlie the whole

accidental abstract configurations, which

process runs parallel with but doesn’t

could trigger associations: underwater cav-

precisely overlap the alternation between

erns, rocky landscapes, moss-covered walls.

material and image. These paintings are absorbing and inexhaustible, full of

Freed from any immediate duty of faith-

surprises. Translating the source prints,

fully representing the external world,

distant in time, to contemporary tech-

painting revels in ambiguity, of space,

nologies (in which nothing is given) has

object, texture, light and dark, edge

been a process of discovery.

and void, transparency and skin. In Full Fathom Five and Sea Change no sooner has one image been recognised than another suggests itself, setting up recurring analogies. This could be the foam

1 Erwin Panofsky The Life and Art of Albrecht Dürer Princeton 1955, p.64 2 Michael Bracewell “Ovid, Bernini and Ann-Marie James” Ann-Marie James Ridinghouse 2013, p.5

of the wave, or white feathers, or coral, or a floral pattern on lace, or the head of a dragon. Scale is so ambiguous that forms could be microscopic creatures in the depths or giant sea monsters. White splatters and drips are also the cosmos. Always there is the shuttle between paint and our associations, what we recognise, what we read. Then we return to the materiality of pigment, colour, texture. The tension between accident and con-

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3 André Breton “D’une décalcomanie sans objet préconçu (Décalcomanie du désir)” Minotaure no. 8 1936, p.18


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A F T E R H O KU S A I

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Sea Change I Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 160 × 110 cm £15,000 + VAT

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Sea Change II Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 160 × 110 cm £15,000 + VAT

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Sea Change III Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 160 × 110 cm £15,000 + VAT

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Sea Change IV Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 160 × 110 cm £15,000 + VAT

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Full Fathom Five I Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 35.5 × 28 cm £3,750 + VAT

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Full Fathom Five II Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 35.5 × 28 cm £3,750 + VAT

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Full Fathom Five III Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 35.5 × 28 cm £3,750 + VAT

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Full Fathom Five IV Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 35.5 × 28 cm £3,750 + VAT

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Full Fathom Five V Acrylic on aluminium with screenprint, 2019 Signed in ink verso 35.5 × 28 cm £3,750 + VAT

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AFTER DÜRER

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After Dürer F Archival ink on paper, 2018 Signed in pencil 21 × 14.8 cm £750 + VAT

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After Dürer H Archival ink on paper, 2018 Signed in pencil 21 × 14.8 cm £750 + VAT

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After Dürer G Archival ink on paper, 2018 Signed in pencil 21 × 14.8 cm £750 + VAT

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After Dürer J Archival ink on paper, 2018 Signed in pencil 21 × 14.8 cm £750 + VAT

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After Dürer N Archival ink on paper, 2018 Signed in pencil 21 × 14.8 cm £750 + VAT

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After Dürer O Archival ink on paper, 2018 Signed in pencil 21 × 14.8 cm £750 + VAT

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Madonna with the Monkey (After Dürer) (Detail right, full image illustrated overleaf) Archival ink on paper, 2018 Signed in pencil 151 × 273 cm £20,000 + VAT

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After Dürer #12 Archival ink on paper, 2017 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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After Dürer #14 Archival ink on paper, 2017 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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After Dürer #17 Archival ink on paper, 2017 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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After Dürer #19 Archival ink on paper, 2017 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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After Dürer #20 Archival ink on paper, 2017 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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After Dürer #23 Archival ink on paper, 2017 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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After Dürer #24 Archival ink on paper, 2017 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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After Dürer #26 Archival ink on paper, 2017 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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After Dürer #29 Archival ink on paper, 2018 Signed in pencil 35 × 27 cm £2,500 + VAT

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BIOGRAPHY

Ann-Marie James (born 1981) lives and works in Suffolk. James studied MA Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art (2010–12); Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design (2010) and BA (Hons) Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2001–04). James reworks imagery from art history to investigate her own responses to individual artworks, to the artists that made them, and to their themes and origins. She is interested in the idea of metamorphosis, and the connectedness of all things in an ongoing cultural conversation that stretches right back to ancient myth. Her awards include the Artists International Development Fund, The British Council (2016); The Derek Hill Foundation Scholarship at The British School at Rome (2013–2014); MFI Flat Time House Graduate Award, supported by the John Latham Foundation, London (2012); The Jealous Graduate Print Prize, London (2012) and The Queen's Award, Central Saint Martins Scholarship Awards (2003). She has undertaken residencies at Kettle’s Yard, UK (2019); Wessex Museums Partnership: Wiltshire Museum, Salisbury Museum, Poole Museum & Dorset Museum, UK (2018-2020); The British School at Rome, Italy (2013); Headspace (supported by the Daiwa Foundation), Nara, Japan (2011) and Lantana Projects, Memphis, Tennessee, USA (2006).

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SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020

2019

Ann-Marie James: Alchemy, Dorset

2013

Knoerle & Battig, Winterthur, Switzerland

Ann-Marie James: Alchemy, Salisbury

Ann-Marie James: Proserpina,

Museum, Salisbury, UK

Karsten Schubert, London, UK

Ann-Marie James: Alchemy, Poole

2012

Installation in the house, Kettle’s Yard,

2011

Cambridge, UK Ann-Marie James: Sea Change,

Metamorphoses (with Alex Hoda), Edel Assanti & 20 Projects, London, UK

Museum, Poole, UK

2018

Ann-Marie James: Musée Imaginaire,

County Museum, Dorchester, UK

Ann-Marie James: Hanami, Soho Art Gallery, Osaka, Japan

2010

Ann-Marie James: Pareidolia, Edel

Lyndsey Ingram, London, UK

Assanti Project Space, London, UK

Ann-Marie James: Alchemy, Wiltshire

Ann-Marie James: Knot, Brahm Gallery,

Museum, Devizes, UK (touring)

Leeds, UK

Ann-Marie James: After Dürer, Fairhurst

2009

Ann-Marie James: Danse Macabre, First Floor Projects, London, UK

Gallery, Norwich, in collaboration with Karsten Schubert, London, UK 2006 2015

Beginning at the end (with Daniel

Ann-Marie James: Le Monde Moderne,

Todd), Art at Carnaby / National

Edel Assanti in collaboration with

Campaign for the Arts, London, UK

Karsten Schubert, London, UK Ann-Marie James: Mobile, The Medicine Factory, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

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The artist wishes to thank Lyndsey Ingram, Amy Graham, Charlotte McGuinnes, Karsten Schubert, Tom Rowland, Kostas Synodis, Caroline Manganaro, Dawn Ades, Madeleine Bertorelli, Doro Globus, Juliet Bailey, Morgan Long, Charlie Fellowes, Edie & Wookiee. Published by Lyndsey Ingram Designed by Lucy Harbut Printed by Dayfold Image credits: p.2 Sea Change III, 2019 (detail) p.5 Madonna with the Monkey (After Dürer), 2019 (detail) p.6 Sea Change I, 2019 (detail) p.13 Madonna with the Monkey (After Dürer), 2019 (detail) p.20-21 Sea Change II, 2019 (detail) p.26-27 Sea Change IV, 2019 (detail) p.33 Full Fathom Five V, 2019 (detail) p.43 Madonna with the Monkey (After Dürer), 2019 (detail) p.51 After Dürer #20, 2019 (detail) Artwork photography by Noah Da Costa Studio photography by Amy Graham All images © 2019 Ann-Marie James


Profile for Lyndsey Ingram

Ann-Marie James – Sea Change 2019  

It is a great pleasure to be working with Ann-Marie James for the first time and to be presenting her solo show 'Sea Change'. This exhibitio...

Ann-Marie James – Sea Change 2019  

It is a great pleasure to be working with Ann-Marie James for the first time and to be presenting her solo show 'Sea Change'. This exhibitio...