Timothy Taylor is pleased to exhibit a solo presentation of oil-on-linen paintings by Sahara Longe (b. 1994, London, UK) for Frieze London 2022. This will mark the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery since it announced representation earlier this year.
In her work, Longe explores the hidden psychology of social interactions, crystallising here in the tension and excitement of a party. Well-dressed figures in each painting mingle with each other in deep, delicate shades of vermilion red, black, rose and raw emerald. ‘I like to observe,’ Longe says. ‘At parties you always see something strange, something slightly off-balance that you don’t understand. People have secrets, and no one is quite as they seem.’
An atmosphere of opacity and double meanings pervades these paintings, dominated by a large party scene triptych. The monumental figures are depicted at life size, echoing and mirroring the visitors circulating around the Frieze tent. Like the visitors at the fair, the relationships between the frozen party figures remain unknowable. A group of women surround a man who gazes into the distance; a man and woman glance at each other with what might be suspicion. Longe’s influences range from German Expressionists such as the Die Brücke group to the British mystery novelist Agatha Christie, in whose work hidden motives proliferate around the scene of a crime.
Longe toys with the border between abstraction and figuration. Women seem to float by virtue of scarlet and green tights evocative of Quattrocento portraiture, melting into geometric backdrops of velvety paint in the same shades. For Longe, these tensions and withheld meanings reflect our everyday desires to understand the secret lives of strangers whose pasts elude us.
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