Ken Currie at Flowers

Ken Currie.jpg 

Scottish artist Ken Currie, who counts collectors such as the late David Bowie for example, is featured in a solo-exhibition at Flowers, on Cork Street, in the historical area of Mayfair, London. The show runs until 9 December.

Rictus examines dark themes related to disfigurement inflicted by the atrocities of war,  nationalism, violence, and decay. In these graphic works, Currie also pays homage to the visual language of reconstructive surgery recorded by British artist and former surgeon Henry Tonks during World War I.

“Jérôme Bosch-ish” in the number of figures on the canvas, these paintings depict the graphic mechanisation of conflict. The large paintings oscillate between salvation and pure horror, lending a disturbing edge of barely concealed shock and torture, while referencing nationalistic symbols such as flags.

Two smaller stunning paintings titled The Lime Bucket, and Whitened Hands depict hands scrubbed and dripping with lime solution, a substance usually intended to purposely degrade or ironically decontaminate. As often in Currie’s clinical and medically-related scenes, the symbolism is shrouded in ambiguity leaving the viewer haphazard.

Image: Ken Currie, Whitened Hands, 2017, Oil on canvas