ID by Ralph Anderson

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JGM Gallery is excited to be opening ID – the third solo exhibition by London-based artist Ralph Anderson, with a new body of work which sees Ralph return to his roots as a landscape painter.

These new paintings, all created over 2021, show Anderson developing a novel technique. He uses multiple layers of colourful paint on heavily woven linen underneath a painted image of the landscape. He then etches through the layers of paint to reproduce graffiti marks found in his local South London landscape.

Featured landscapes range from Albert Bridge and Battersea Park to suburban streets in London. Other locations include a grassy, rocky Scottish landscape, as well as a Cambridgeshire country lane discovered during a weekend walk.

Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi, founder of JGM Gallery, says: “I am so excited to see this new, ground-breaking work by Ralph. He has reconnected with his passion for landscape painting, and merged it with the bold, abstract markings ­– full of energy and movement – that characterise his earlier work.”

For his previous solo exhibition, ‘This Is For You’, held at JGM Gallery in 2019, Anderson worked with aluminium and plywood cut-outs to explore the fluidity of painting through representations of colourful felt-tip drawings and scribbles.

“For this series I wanted to move away from metal work and return to working on canvas and landscape painting, which has always been my roots,” explains Anderson. “For me, landscape painting feels more natural: it reflects what we see, rather than explicitly being an academic and theoretical exploration of colour and mark making, like for my previous, more abstract work.”

Anderson discovered many of the graffiti marks used in ID during his frequent lockdown walks across the urban environment of South London; on tree trunks, walls, statues, old church halls and park benches, and dating across the decades to as far back as the 1930s.

This latest series not only evolves the abstract gestures of his previous series, but also, as he describes, captures in paint a “snippet of the city, the place where so many of us live”.

Some of the works take us beyond Anderson’s direct London environment, as in the case of the graffiti etching, ‘1953 BE love LCK’, found in the streets of Clapham, London. Anderson says that although it was naively done, it had a very stylistic quality, bringing to mind the artwork of an old album cover.  “In my head, I saw this text, it was so emotive; and I immediately pictured it against a rocky, grassy Scottish scene, creating this romantic imagery,” he recalls. The resulting work brings us the sole landscape in the exhibition of Anderson’s native Scotland.

More about Ralph Anderson: Anderson was born in Glasgow in 1977, and now lives and works in London. He has a BA in Fine Art from London Guildhall University and a MA in Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Art, UAL. Other recent solo exhibitions include: ‘This is For You’, JGM Gallery, London, 2019; ‘One Thousand Years’, TM Gallery, London, 2018; ‘Appropriate Matter’, C&C Gallery, London, 2017: and as artist in residence for the Eurostar Business Lounge, Gare du Nord, Paris in 2019.