Ocula MagazineContentsView All
Featured ContentView All
Almine Rech-Picasso Goes Global Ocula Conversation Almine Rech-Picasso Goes Global

French gallerist Almine Rech-Picasso opened her first space in Asia on Shanghai's historic Bund in July this year, bringing her eponymous gallery's total locations to five. The Shanghai gallery occupies roughly 4,000 square feet on the second floor of the three-storey Amber Building, a beautiful warehouse space, originally occupied by the Central...

Fade out copy.
Read More
From the Gallery to the Streets: Home Works 8 in Beirut Ocula Report From the Gallery to the Streets: Home Works 8 in Beirut 8 Nov 2019 : Nat Muller for Ocula

There's an inside joke amongst the team of Ashkal Alwan, The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts: that every time an edition of its biennial forum on cultural practices is planned, a national crisis happens. The eighth edition of Home Works was no different: it opened on 17 October amidst the most devastating wildfires that Lebanon had witnessed...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Justin Mortimer

b. 1970, United Kingdom

Justin Mortimer (b.1970) is a British artist whose paintings consistently invite us to question the relationship between subject matter and content, beauty and horror, and between figuration and abstraction. While the imagery is almost exclusively pitiless, the texturing of the paint, the play between light and shade and the passages that lead from photo-realist definition to near-abstract formlessness are so sensitively handled as to make the work at least partially redemptive as well as to indicate a key philosophical dimension: the oblique relationship between evidence and interpretation.

Mortimer's new paintings reflect upon a world in a state of disorder. Mortimer is an avid observer of the social and political upheaval that is the staple of the international news agenda and here are echoes of recent events in Ukraine, Venezuela, Syria and Afghanistan. Yet Mortimer wrings from this tortured narrative of violence and oppression images of both hope and despair and well as a strange and troubling beauty.

The unity of Mortimer's images keeps on breaking. Limbs are dislocated, space is disrupted. Elisions of imagery suggest a fragmented and fragmentary reality. This is not just a reflection of the ways in which one's perception of the contemporary world is a kind of ever-evolving collage of imagery culled from an ongoing overload of print and digital information and layered over and upon our retinal vision, but also a suggestion of the ways in which the very fabric of society is increasingly fractured. The world is constantly shifting, and Mortimer's paintings hint at the tectonic cracks and shifts appearing in the old world order. Put simply, the paintings depict a world in which nothing is stable or certain.

In fact these troubling images are composites variously sourced from the Internet, from medical journals, holiday photos and black and white images of war, collaged on Photoshop before being worked into a painting. Each canvas is built up through layers of paint that are then scraped away and built up again until a fully achieved environment forms. In this, scenes of abasement take place beside a supermarket's plastic curtains, a washing line, some bobbing balloons, swathes of tarpaulin. The disjunctions take them beyond cold-eyed examinations of the atrocities of war and into a timeless, post-moral territory comparable to that marked out by Cormac McCarthy and JG Ballard. Real and imagined events become confused and the trajectory of humanity from barbarism to civilization is left in doubt.

Mortimer's paintings are not reportage or documentation, they are far too allusive and de-specified for that. Instead they represent a powerful and poetic visualisation of contemporary life, in all its grim and magical reality.

Justin Mortimer graduated from the Slade School of Art in 1992 and lives and works in London. He has won several prestigious awards including the EAST Award (2004), NatWest Art Prize (1996) and the BP National Portrait Award (1991).Recent solo exhibitions include Haunch of Venison, London (2012), Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (2011) and Master Piper, London (2010). Recent group exhibitions include How to Tell The Future from the Past, Haunch of Venison, New York (2013), Nightfall, MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrecen, Hungary (2012), MAC Birmingham (2011) and the 2011 Prague Biennial. His work is in numerous private and public collections including the National Portrait Gallery, London, the National Portrait Gallery, Canada, Royal Society for the Arts, Bank of America, NatWest Bank and the Flash Art Museum of Contemporary Art in Trevi, Italy.

Fade out copy.
Read More

Featured Artworks

View All (58)
Kult VI by Justin Mortimer contemporary artwork
Justin MortimerKult VI, 2015 Oil on canvas
45 x 45 cm
Parafin
Kid by Justin Mortimer contemporary artwork
Justin MortimerKid, 2015 Oil on canvas
91.5 x 122 cm
Parafin
Loa by Justin Mortimer contemporary artwork
Justin MortimerLoa, 2014 Oil on canvas
50 x 80 cm
Parafin
Painters by Justin Mortimer contemporary artwork
Justin MortimerPainters, 2014 Oil on canvas
122 x 91.5 cm
Parafin
Der Besucher by Justin Mortimer contemporary artwork
Justin MortimerDer Besucher, 2014 Oil on canvas
240 x 190 cm
Parafin
Monitor by Justin Mortimer contemporary artwork
Justin MortimerMonitor, 2016–2017 Oil and acrylic on canvas
214 x 305 cm
Parafin
Fugue by Justin Mortimer contemporary artwork
Justin MortimerFugue, 2016–2017 Oil and acrylic on canvas
213 x 154 cm
Parafin
Witness by Justin Mortimer contemporary artwork
Justin MortimerWitness, 2016 Oil and acrylic on canvas
213 x 213 cm
Parafin

Recent Exhibitions

View All (5)
Contemporary art exhibition, Justin Mortimer, Breed at Parafin, London
Closed
19 July–21 September 2019 Justin Mortimer Breed Parafin, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, offen Vol. 2 at Galerie EIGEN + ART, Berlin
Closed
11 July–25 August 2018 Group Exhibition offen Vol. 2 Galerie EIGEN + ART, Berlin
Contemporary art exhibition, Justin Mortimer, It Is Here at Parafin, London
Closed
30 March–20 May 2017 Justin Mortimer It Is Here Parafin, London

Represented By

In Related Press

'Blow Up' at Parafin Explores the Connections Between Photography and Painting Related Press 'Blow Up' at Parafin Explores the Connections Between Photography and Painting artnet : 8 July 2015

Parafin, one of the newest additions to the buzzing Mayfair gallery scene in London, has opened its first group show.The exhibition, entitled Blow Up, is a tribute to the eponymous cult film that Michelangelo Antonioni directed in 1966.The film narrates a disturbing murder story that takes place in the Swinging 60s London, with an unforgettable...

Fade out copy.
Read More
A Painter Who Cuts Up Figures with 'Knife-Edge Stuff' Related Press A Painter Who Cuts Up Figures with 'Knife-Edge Stuff' Hyperallergic : 10 June 2015

If one were to try and describe the trajectory of the British painter Justin Mortimer (b.1970) it would go something like this: after beginning his career as a social 'insider' who painted the upper echelons of British society, he relaunched himself by painting dark, difficult, and disjointed works. Considering that he has been the subject of three...

Fade out copy.
Read More

In Video & Audio

Justin Mortimer in Conversation Related Video & Audio Justin Mortimer in Conversation Haunch of Venison : 12 October 2012

A Q&A with British painter Justin Mortimer and art critic Matt Price, organised by the University of the Arts Paint Club and Haunch of Venison on Thursday 15th November 2012. The talk was at Haunch of Venison’s Fitzrovia gallery during Justin Mortimer’s exhibition Resort (12 October–24 November 2012).

Fade out copy.
View Video
Justin Mortimer: Resort Related Video & Audio Justin Mortimer: Resort Haunch of Venison : 1 September 2012

British painter Justin Mortimer and curator Tom Hunt discuss Resort, an exhibition of new work at Haunch of Venison London's Eastcastle Street space.

Fade out copy.
View Video

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Justin Mortimer are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
iCal GoogleYahooOutlook