Adam Neate is a truly modern painter. One who paints with light, perspex, bent chrome, film and even – sometimes – paint. He has coined his own “ism”, too: Dimensionalism. The viewer must move around a Neate painting in order to take in all the dimensions, angles and levels on which it works. Brush strokes made of perspex appear to float above the canvas. A child will see an entirely different picture before them than a tall person, but both their viewpoints will have been considered by the artist.
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On Saturday 10th of August, Adam Neate’s latest exhibition ‘Dimensional Editions 2013′ opened at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms in Covent Garden. These editions – again, Neate has rejected the tradition of the artist’s print to explore the concept of the multiple image – push the boundaries of new technology. Utilising 2D animated lenticulars and holograms Neate is effectively “painting” with processes usually associated with the advertising industry or very cold, corporate worlds. His screaming, writhing figures appear to move within the technology, roaring as one circles the “canvas”.
Layers of silk screen, or spray-painted Perspex attachments are overlaid on images of original paintings in Neate’s familiar, lurid colour palette making these works Pop (with a capital P) off the wall. This show is also the first time Neate has used film as a medium. In one of the most arresting self-portraits on show, he is trapped within one of his canvases, looping in an endless scream, cradling a glass of red wine.
A self-taught artist, despite his obsession with new technology Neate returns again and again to traditional subjects. The self-portrait, the domestic scene, even lonely figures outside a kebab shop, lit with a sickening LED glow, or illuminated by a lonely laptop screen on the red-eye, these sometimes maddeningly mundane scenes always have a sense of menace or unease about them.
Which brings me to the screaming. Whether Kneeling and Screaming or mid-punch or just intoxicated and lolling, Neate’s self-portraits are compelling and disturbing and glossy and beautiful all at once. Quite a hard one to pull off, that. C
An exhibition of Adam Neate’s work is on show until 31st August, 2013 at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms in London