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JAMES HUNTER
Elegantissima, 2014

Edition of 50
58(w) x 79(h) cm
22.83(w) x 31.10(h) inches
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Elegantissima, 2014

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Elegantissima, 2014

INFORMATION
58(w) x 79(h) cm
22.83(w) x 31.10(h) inches
Show scale of piece
9 colour screenprint with varnish 410gsm Somerset Satin with hand torn edge

Edition of 50
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
£ 720.00
Delivery within a few working days
Price of artwork and Shipping Fee are dependent on country of delivery. Shipping fee to United Kingdom is £ 25.00 . [change country here]
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James Hunter Biography

James Hunter’s abstract work shares attributes with the genre 'surrealist automatism'; a practice which gained momentum in the sixties by Surrealist artists and poets to express the creative force of the subconscious in art. Often referred to as having no conscious compositional or pictorial outcome, Hunter states that his work was born out of the need for a ‘lack of process’. His pieces are journeys of mark-making across canvas or aluminium, without the presence of pre-conceived form and thought.

Hunter’s personal route to ‘Surrealist Automatism’ may be somewhat of a contradiction. After graduation with a degree in Fine Arts from Leeds Metropolitan he spent the following few years working as a studio assistant to Damien Hirst. In Hirst’s studio he worked rigidly and formulaically to produce the world-renowned artist’s spot paintings; artwork which were well-defined, as identical and prescribed pieces. The spot paintings may have been a repetitive process, but it’s ironic how his past experience has informed his current practice. Today, many of Hunter’s work include a perfectly round spot hidden in the pieces, perhaps as a nod to his previous boss.

The artist’s work falls into two mediums; painting on canvas and print multiples. His early pieces were primarily enamel and acrylic on canvas giving him a freedom to explore where each contribution to the canvas informs the next, giving a sense of growth and expansion from an undefinable core. Explained in his own words:

“I try to empty my mind. I don't want to know what's going to happen on the canvas. I start somewhere, then every subsequent mark is a response to what I see.” James Hunter

This freedom of process is tempered with purposeful confident mark making and a clean graphic aesthetic. In pleasant opposition to the chaos of the image his works are presented in a uniform format, using a defined colour palette and set physical dimensions. By first giving himself the parameters of his tools, he is then able to enjoy the unexpected outcomes of working instinctively.

The result of his honest and playful journey is a cumulonimbus of colour from which an infinite number of recognisable forms emerge. Panting dogs, computer game characters and fractured faces can be constructed from the jigsaw like components. The accents and highlights in works such as Santa Anita give a sense of movement, as if a volleyball player is about to serve. Pseudococcinea, a semi-randomly picked title by the artist from a book about plants, seems to live up to its title having resemblance with a plant growing randomly upwards from the orange dot in bottom of the painting.

The use of block of colour to segregating the canvas was first seen in 2014. In works such as City of Haarlem and Ostara the artist creates a fictional coastline or municipal border on which lay what look like Dr Seuss landscapes meets google map cities. In the later work from 2018, further use of block colour can be found.

The entertaining joyful nature of his work coupled with the high-quality finish, perfectly displayed in identical box frames which he prepares and finishes himself. This illustrates why this young and exacting artist will continue to be well received.

Hunter decided to explore screen printing as a new medium after the successful release of four small paintings in 2013. The process of working on a multi-layer print was a new challenge to the artist. On the canvas Hunter could work from one brushstroke to the next, whereas a screen print is built one colour at a time; a method that requires some planning for the composition of the work. The first print edition, Elegantissima, was released in 2014 and followed by Fragrantissimum (2015) and Orangeola (2016). A highly regarded aspect of Hunter’s work is the flawless presentation. As with his paintings there is a freshness and honesty to his work.

Born in Preston, Lancashire in 1987, Hunter studied BA (hons) in Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University where he made painting and performance work collaboratively with his twin brother Anthony, achieving 1st class honors. He was then employed by Damian Hirst both as a performance artist and as a fabricator. He continues to explore his painting which is exhibited internationally.

 
Recommended Reading
Elegantissima is James Hunter’s first limited edition screenprint; an exclusive Eyestorm edition, it’s making its debut this week at AAF Battersea and is available to buy online from today.
Read more ...
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