Charlotte Hopkins Hall, 2008
Acrylic on canvas
125 x 150 cm
FERREIRA PROJECTS is proud to present the first solo exhibition in London of Charlotte Hopkins Hall – The Thinking Thing. Hopkins Hall’s new body of work emerges from her desire to express an understanding of her surroundings along with her inner more elusive personal environment using the human figure as the backbone of her work.
According to Descartes, the mind was a ‘thinking thing’ that encompassed the fundamental nature of his being: his doubts, beliefs, hopes and thoughts. When reflecting on the essence of Charlotte Hopkins Hall’s work, this fact, on its own seems, to be a relevant premise. Through the medium of painting, Hopkins Hall is searching for an understanding of her surroundings, with, in her view, all its confusing contradictions. Recently she has also started to try and understand her inner and more elusive personal environment and apply it to her paintings. Bacon, whose work she greatly admires, is the example of an artist who showed an excellent ability to divulge his own anguish, lifestyle and reflectiveness in the midst of the 1950’s society which was recovering from post-war stress and uncertainty: his paintings have an undeniable visual impact.
To some extent Hopkins Hall’s work carries certain characteristics of ‘conceptual art’ (although, generally, she feels at odds with denominations, here it helps to put a word to an idea). Because of her need for the idea to prevail over the painterly aspects of her paintings, she spends a considerable amount of time defining, researching and thinking before she can start producing anything. The very sober and often dominant black and white aesthetic of the pieces reflects her desire to develop a language for her discomfort in a world nestled between anger and nonsense, with which she feels little or no communion. Hopkins Hall’s paintings neither scream out injustice nor hold any political agenda: they are, on the contrary, quite muted and subtly reactive, using the human figure at their core. Why the human figure? She is not totally sure. It seems perfectly logical for her to materialise her thoughts in this way. As humans are at the root of her concerns, humans are necessarily at the root of her painting.