Leidy Churchman does Free Delivery
Well, that’s the title of his first big European retrospective - but what does it refer to?
Why is the US painter Leidy Churchman’s first institutional show in Europe called Free Delivery? The Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, where the exhibition is on display until 26 March certainly charges admission. Yet the name works, perhaps because the exhibition brings the notion of easy, on-line shopping into the visual realm.
Churchman is a figurative painter. However, his wild, near-surrealist images, are not all drawn from first-hand viewing, but also from the “extraordinary junkyard” of symbols, as he puts it, which we all have access to, thanks in part to the Internet, digital photography, and other technological advances.
In our interview with the Vitamin P3 painter, Churchman describes painting as “a stage of things that have already happened, but seem to be playing out in real time before us,” while in Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting the writer and curator Louisa Elderton characterises his work as “as a sign or a flag that conveys information regarding the human experience.”
This hash of imagery act as “threads that weave together to form an overview of day-to-day existence,” writes Elderton. “But it is an existence somewhere ‘out there’."
Or as Churchman himself put it to us when we interviewed him last year, "It's funny: sometimes when I am trying to get a painting sort of up and running and situated a bit, I think of it as gaining control of a horse. But once I have mounted the horse in a way, it's the two of us riding together, a strange collaboration. "
To experience that ride up close, visit Free Delivery. For from Leidy on his own work read our interview here; to buy his work, go to Artspace; and for more on his place within contemporary painting buy a copy of Vitamin P3 here.