Sarah Cunningham: The Crystal Forest
12 July – 26 August 2023
“There is an immense reward to be found in that frozen forest. There the transfiguration of all living and inanimate forms occurs before our eyes, the gift of immortality a direct consequence of the surrender by each of us of our own physical and temporal identities.”
– JG Ballard, The Crystal World, 1966
Lisson Gallery presents its first solo exhibition by British painter Sarah Cunningham exploring psychological spaces and multifaceted landscapes that the artist composes within her layered and generative canvases. This new body of paintings – including a major triptych and large-scale works, alongside smaller panels – focusses on Cunningham’s abstract forays into kaleidoscopic environments and imagined forest clearings, which she constructs over time through layer after layer of gesture and radiating bursts of light, line and colour.
Cunningham (b.1993) pulls from a multitude of literary, art historical and personal references, adopting and dissolving these situations through vivid, expressionistic mark making. The exhibition takes its title from one such influence, JG Ballard's 1966 science-fiction novel, The Crystal World, although her own crystalline scenes are structured from constantly shifting, penumbral planes and collaged fragments, leading viewers through the proscenium arch towards new worlds beyond. The earliest work also lends its title to the show: The Crystal Forest depicting a fractured vortex of earth, trees and sky, merging multiple viewpoints and testing the boundaries between human beings, nature and landscape.Read more