The changing of the seasons has inspired many an artist, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons through to the portraits made up of seasonal fruit by Arcimboldo. This group exhibition displays the works of three artists who’ve been similarly inspired by the transition of time.
Mathew Tom’s works explore the subtle nuances that can alter perceptions. By placing very similar portraits adjacent to one another, he aims to show the viewer that subtle tweaks can change the tone of a painting. Tom’s work didn’t resonate with us, though this may be because he’s exhibiting with two artists with a more striking visual impact.
Juliette Mahieux-Bartoli has painted a classic Greco-Roman nude and altered the direction she’s facing and the background in each work. It’s impressive how these changes shift the mood of each painting. When the statuesque nude is facing the viewer with a bright red background, she comes across as confident and aggressive while when she’s facing away surrounded by muted colours, she seems to be shying away from the viewer.
Our favourite works in this show are Emer O’Brien’s ‘dinner parties’. O’Brien has created four elongated photographs of dinner tables stocked with foodstuffs of different colours. The bright coloured foods give off a summery feeling and, from a distance, darker objects such as mussel shells appear wintery and as if they’re rotting.
The emotions evoked by each piece vary, and each scene is itself in transition, with half-eaten meals in every image, begging the question of where all the people are. This makes all of them slightly unnerving as if the party is progressing without any attendees. This exhibition is worth visiting for O’Brien’s works alone.
Four Seasons is on display at ArtEco, 533 Old York Rd, Wandsworth, SW18 1TG until 16 February. Admission is free.